Whether it's turning the heating on via a smartphone app or charging said smartphone by simply flinging it onto a table, home automation has a lot of appeal -- it's convenient, fun to play with and makes it a lot easier to be lazy. The main barriers to take-up, however, have been price and accessibility. Gear can be expensive and sometimes complicated. But furniture retailer IKEA -- arguably the antithesis of cost and complexity -- has slowly been bringing home automation to the masses with its Home Smart range, and is now turning its attention to sound products, in collaboration with Sonos.
The retailer, which introduced wireless charging products in 2015 and smart lighting in 2016, says it recognizes the important role played by music in the home, and wants to "democratize" music by making it even easier for people to play any song, anywhere in the home, without interrupting the flow of daily life. Although exactly how this will be done is yet to be seen. Bjorn Block, IKEA Home Smart business leader says they want to "combine IKEA home furnishing knowledge with Sonos' expertise" so the outcome could be standalone items, or technology integrated into existing furniture. We'll find out in 2019, when the range hits stores.