Ikea’s Björn Block Provides New Details on Upcoming Smart Shades

On this week’s episode (#208) of the Internet of Things Podcast, the “Business Leader for Ikea’s Home Smart”, Björn Block, provides some insight in to the company’s overall smart home strategies and priorities for the future. For those unaware, Ikea currently has their own smart home device line, called TRÅDFRI, which is slowly expanding in the types of devices offered. Originally, the line focused on lighting, with light bulbs and remotes being the first products out the door, and has since expanded to smart plugs. The company has had its fair share of reliability issues with their devices, but is generally well-regarded. Also, somewhat famously, the company has yet to provide an update to their smart plug which would enable HomeKit support, despite promises early on in the device’s life.

The biggest tidbits from the interview is in regard to the company’s upcoming FYRTUR smart shade line. Björn, confirms that the company is targeting an August release in North America, which is a bummer for those (like me!) who are waiting for an affordable solution to smart window coverings. However, Björn also stated that the company intends to release their shades “before summer” in the European market. For the North American market, Björn also mentioned that the company is exploring the possibility of releasing another smart shade, named KADRILJ, which was originally announced as only being available in Europe. The company is also looking at adding additional color and size options in the future and seemingly confirmed that the company is targeting a starting price of around $113 in the United States.

Also during the interview, Björn re-iterates that the company is committing to shoring up reliability, and is accelerating efforts to meet the demands of the various major smart home platforms. To increase awareness, the company is planning to pour more resources in educating employees, and updating their smart home displays within its stores. After summer, the company will be rolling out their new “experience” which will incorporate interactive features, such as opening their upcoming shades. Additional details about the company’s upcoming speaker partnership with Sonos were also provided.

Needless to say, it is great to hear directly from the company on the shades release schedule, as well as with the company’s commitment to improve upon their devices and in store displays. If you want to listen to the interview with Bjorn, it is around 16 minutes in length and starts around the 39 minute mark on the Internet of Things Podcast.

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