How Ikea Is Making A Major Foray Into The Smart Home Space

By Joseph Farago | Published

ikea

Ikea is the iconic furniture store known for its cavernous warehouse and structured, affordable home decor. The Swedish company has taken a step towards futurism by investing in smart home technology. But many users have reported bugs and issues with the tech, which Ikea is now overhauling. The new smart home hub and application will be released sometime in October.

Ikea’s smart home tech will be released alongside a new product from Matter. The product will be called Dirigera, the new device for the company’s smart home. Dirigera is being built as a sturdier smart home technology, with the ability to handle more interconnected products than prior devices. It’ll be able to incorporate products from Apple, Google, and Amazon to create a completely connected smart home.

Before the Ikea announcement, two leaders at the company demonstrated the hub and the app working together to showcase its seamlessness and general efficiency. Different devices were able to connect to the Ikea hub quickly and without issues, which plagued the company’s initial smart home foray. The new app and hub have been regarded as intuitive and easy to use, far from Ikea’s current device called the Trådfri gateway. This smart home tech was unbearably frustrating for users, so Ikea decided to redesign it completely.  

One of Ikea’s business leaders, Rebecca Törman, explained the company’s new reliance on innovative tech. The Dirigera hub and Ikea’s smart home app have pivoted to “strengthening and simplifying the onboarding process,” helping users connect devices seamlessly to construct a perfect smart home. Executives at the company have shown their excitement around the newest ventures, agreeing with Törman’s statement of Drigera’s intuitiveness. Once the product is released to consumers in October, it’s expected they’ll have a similar positive reaction.

When the Trådfri gateway was crafted in 2014, Ikea only had one focus for smart home building: lighting. Its initial construction was designed around operating lighting in a house or apartment since it was the only thing people thought was operable in a smart home. But a lot has changed in smart home technology since 2014, and Ikea’s old device couldn’t hold all the attachments users wanted to include in the hub. Still, there was too much complexity in adding dimmers and switches to the hub. Users would have to add a “steering device” to the Trådfri gateway before adding the specific lightbulb. The two-step process was cumbersome for most users and was a factor in Trådfri’s consistent bug issues.

Since then, Ikea has invested money in its smart home division. Digital competency was a guiding factor for the Swedish company, wanting to produce technology that was easy to use and devoid of technical bugs. The company hired more UX designers and software developers to make this dream a reality. Opening the doors for competent developers and specialists to join the team forced Ikea to confront its past issues with Trådfri’s technology.

Today, Ikea is gearing up to release its smart home hub that’s heavily surpassed its expectations. The company will continue investing in smart home adaptations, integrating other products with innovative technology like speakers built into wall decor and lamps.