IKEA entered the smart home market with the launch of a new line of smart bulbs last month. And now, the company has announced its line of Tradfri LED bulbs will soon integrate with Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple’s Siri. Right now, customers can only control the Tradfri bulbs through a smart phone app and its hardware remotes. But starting this summer, customers will be able to use any of the three voice assistants to turn the lights on and off and adjust the dimmer.
It’s All About Price
IKEA disrupted the furniture industry with its low-cost, stylish home products and it looks like it aims to do the same with the smart home. For instance, compared to the Philips Hue bulb, which also offers voice control with Alexa, Assistant and Siri, the Ikea bulb retails for $12, three dollars less than Philips’. While three dollars might not seem like a big deal, it does when you consider that consumers will need to buy multiples to turn their residence into a smart home. And, the number one barrier for consumer adoption of the smart home is price according to a recent PwC consumer study. Like Hive, IKEA sees an opportunity in reducing the friction of smart home adoption by making it more affordable to the average consumer. “We think that smart home technology should be accessible for everybody. That is why we will continue to make our products work with others on the market,” said Jeanette Skjelmose, business area manager for lighting and IKEA Home Smart.
IKEA’s brand is already well known for home furnishing and accessories so branching out into the smart home seems like a natural next step for the company and I suspect the Tradfri bulb is just the beginning of IKEA’s smart home collection. While Ikea’s low costs and brand name might make the smart home competition nervous, IKEA’s foray into the industry can only increase smart home adoption, which could be good news for everyone.