IKEA’s Interest in IoT

IKEA’s Interest in IoT

First, a new wireless charging collection is on its way to the U.S. in late spring. And now, a connected kitchen equipped with sensors, inductive cooling and graywater systems is in the works.

IKEA, the company known for affordable furniture, is transforming itself from practical to tech-savvy.

Wireless Charging Collection

IKEA says the impact of handheld devices has inspired the company to create a range of wireless chargers that make mobile charging more accessible, yet less obvious. The concept focuses on turning furniture into charging stations, while at the same time maintaining its affordability. For example, the Selje nightstand retails for just under $60.

Sleep soundly and charge your devices with IKEA wireless charging stations.
Sleep soundly and charge your devices with IKEA wireless charging stations.

The charging concept is just chipping at the surface when it comes to the future of IoT at the company that has 315 stores in 27 countries.

Related Story: Mom’s Dream Kitchen

The Concept Kitchen

Sustainable life at home is the idea IKEA plans to launch in the next decade. The company collaborated with global design company IDEO and design students from Lund University in Sweden and Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherland on the Concept Kitchen. The retailer rolled-out a prototype at Milan Design Week.

Features Include

A table for living uses a camera and projector positioned above the table to give recipe suggestions, guide users through the preparation process and alert drones to deliver any missing ingredients. Induction coils allow for food preparation right on the table’s surface. You’ll also be able to charge handheld devices by placing them on the table.

Food is wirelessly cooled to just the right temperature.
Food is wirelessly cooled to just the right temperature.

Instead of a fridge, storing technology contains hidden sensors and smart induction cooling. Food is stored in the open on shelves and wirelessly cooled to just the right temperature. Double-walled glass cloches keep it visible, so you don’t overbuy.

The compost system delivers organic waste from the sink, blends it, extracts water and compresses it into a dry, odorless puck. These pucks can be stacked for pickup by the municipality. The wastewater is used to feed indoor plants. Cans, bottles and containers are crushed and scanned for contamination. Consumers receive an energy credit or debit, depending on how wasteful they’ve been.

The connected sink has two plug holes; one is for graywater that can be reused, and the other sends contaminated water through to the sewerage pipes for treatment.

The IoT Future

IKEA says it has gathered student research and analyzed trends to predict what the world will be like in 2025.

  • More urban living
  • Smaller homes
  • Water and energy will feel more precious
  • Working from home will be the norm
  • Shopping will mean home delivery

With that said, IKEA has yet to divulge how it will accomplish all of this and just how expensive it will be.

About The Author

Andrea Medeiros is editor-in-chief, multimedia director and content developer at TecHome Builder. She is a former TV news reporter turned home technology guru and is using her broadcast journalism skills to help our team deliver complicated, tech-focused content in a conversational way. She has a decade of experience in the editorial realm—interviewing, writing and editing stories as well as shooting, editing and producing video content. She is most interested in covering interoperability among smart devices.

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