Today, Ikea has confirmed to several media outlets that their highly anticipated line of smart blinds and shades are going to miss their April 2019 release date. While the exact date has yet to be confirmed, CNET is reporting that the Swedish retail giant is targeting an August release, and this lines up with a tweet from the official Ikea Twitter account for France. Ikea has stated that the reasoning behind the delay is due to issues surrounding the firmware that will be used on the devices. The one good thing about the delay is that Ikea is promising support for all the major home automation platforms, HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant right out of the box, instead of making owners wait for an update to enable the functionality.
This is no doubt a huge disappointment for those (myself included!) Who were looking forward to a cost effective HomeKit compatible smart window covering solution. Currently, at least in the United States, there are only 3 known solutions: Lutron’s Serena line, Soma’s Smart add on kits for existing coverings, and the recently added PowerView line from Hunter Douglas. Unfortunately, all three have their drawbacks, with the price being the huge detractor with the offerings from Lutron and Hunter Douglas. Soma’s add on kits are limited to specific types of coverings, and are not officially supported by HomeKit, although they do work with as they come with a raspberry pi type of hub which is believed to be running a version of HomeBridge to enabled this operability. Here’s to hoping that Ikea is able to fulfill their release date later in the year as this is a category that desperately needs competition and different options.