IKEA Moves Into Accessible Gaming Products
The gaming and esports market are expanding rapidly. As more and more advertising dollars get poured into esports, the popularity of the market has exponentially increased, resulting in literally hundreds of millions of dollars in sales in the gaming space. And along with the increase in popularity and sales comes the need for this space to consider accommodating consumers from all aspects of life—including those who may need a hand with their own gaming experience. The latest example of a company addressing accessibility in this space comes from a rather unlikely source: IKEA.
In a press release published this week, the furniture brand, which has started to dabble a little bit in the consumer tech space, announced a new partnership that will bring to market a line of accessible gaming furniture. IKEA has been working closely with UNYQ and Area Academy for about a year, and are now ready to introduce the first prototypes ion their UPPKOPPLA series.
“It’s true that we haven’t seen the full potential of this group earlier and we haven’t looked into their specific needs at home as much as we should,” Michael Nikolic, creative leader at IKEA of Sweden, said in the statement. “There are many myths and misunderstandings surrounding gamers. In fact, it is a large group of people in all ages where gaming is even a full-time job for some.”
The goal of the partnership, IKEA explained, is to leverage the technical expertise of UNYQ—a design company that offers customized 3D-printed medical wearables—and Area Academy—a renowned brand in the educational structure space—to improve the quality of life for gamers at home. The line is built upon an initial body scan to add a personal fit to the 3D-printed products, allowing IKEA and its partners to offer customized solutions for different users’ physical needs and design tastes.
“By working with IKEA, we can explore new ways to leverage a concept we’ve been working with for years, as well as the technological process to implement it,” Eythor Benger, CEO of UNYQ, said in the statement. “Understanding individuals’ unique needs are what drives UNYQ’s strategy and are the basis for all of our products – we feel completely aligned with IKEA on this mission.”
Some of the early examples and prototypes that IKEA showed off include mouse bungies, wristbands, key caps, desk supports, chairs, tables, and more. The UPPKOPPLA line is planned to go on sale in 2020.