Ikea’s smart light bulbs will answer to voice commands starting this summer. The company announced in a Swedish-language press release that its smart lighting product line, called Trådfri, will work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri and HomeKit.
Right now, Trådfri can only be controlled with a remote control or an app, but being able to integrate it into whatever digital assistant they already use in their homes makes Ikea’s smart lighting more appealing to tech-savvy people. Furthermore, as one of the largest furniture sellers in the world with 340 stores in 28 countries, Ikea has the power to introduce the concept of smart lighting to thousands of potential new users.
Ikea is notorious for its ability to lure shoppers into buying a lot more than they planned to and Trådfri’s pricing may be low enough to turn it into an impulse purchase, especially for people who are already splashing out on new furnishings and home renovations. Trådfri’s gateway, which is used to control its light bulbs, costs $29.99, about half of the Philips Hue’s $59.99 price tag, and its bulbs start from $14.99.
The retailer, which invests in tech startups through its venture arm GreenTech, also said it plans to launch more smart home products in the next few years. Because of Ikea’s presence around the world, affordability, and the broad appeal of its products, the store’s tech lineup (which currently also includes wireless chargers) can also serve as a forecaster of what in the Internet of Things will ultimately be embraced by consumers beyond just early adopters and have the potential to become as ubiquitous as Billy bookcases.
In Ikea’s announcement, Bjorn Block, the leader of Ikea Home Smart, said “With Ikea Home Smart, we are challenging everything that’s complicated and expensive with the online home. By ensuring that our products work with others on the market, we take another step to meet people’s needs and make it easier to interact with the products for the smart home.”