IKEA, Sonos to Show First New Products at Milan Furniture Show
It’s been nearly a year and a half since IKEA and Sonos announced a partnership that the home furniture maker and wireless audio brand together under the IKEA Home Smart banner. Not much was said at the time of the initial announcement other than the fact that the first products would start to crop up in IKEA stores sometime in 2019.
Well, 2019 has been here for a minute, and we’ve finally got a little bit of news out of the partnership.
First unveiled in a company video that was spotted by by Variety in late January, the new SYMFONISK line of smart speakers is expected to launch in IKEA stores this August. The plan for the speakers, which were shown in prototype form last year and included a bookshelf model, is for IKEA to build the internet-connected speakers and Sonos to power the software that they run on. The speakers will be interoperable with other Sonos product.
“You need to take up space to make sound,” Sonos product manager Sara Morris said in the video. “And it’s only by working with Ikea, we can tuck that sound into the furniture in hidden ways, that we could really stop people thinking about the speaker, and start thinking about the sound.”
Aside from the August launch date, not much was really said about the speakers from a pricing or specs perspective.
That should change during the Milan Furniture Fair in mid-April. In a statement posted to its site on Thursday, IKEA announced that they and Sonos will present the first products in this new SYMFONISK line. The speakers, which were hilariously burred out in a vide accompanying the statement (screen grab above), will be part of IKEA’s FEEL HOME exhibit during the show. The furniture maker said it plans to use this exhibit/installation to display the impact of sound and light on the in-home environment. There, visitors will be able to, for the first time, listen to the speakers and get face time with the people behind the products.
“Together with Sonos we wanted to combine our home furnishing knowledge with their expertise in creating great sound experiences for every room of the home, and in Milan we want you to experience the real difference that sound and light makes in your life”, Björn Block, Business Leader for IKEA Home Smart at IKEA of Sweden, said in the statement.“For IKEA, the smart home is not about gadgets, it’s about making life at home better with solutions that create a better atmosphere, make you live a more convenient life and make you feel safe. The collaboration with Sonos is a great example of this, offering affordable high-quality sound in combination with a great design piece that we hope will find its way into the many people’s homes.”
The smart speaker initiative by IKEA follows in a line of connected tech that the company has added to its repertoire in recent years. In 2016 the furniture brand got into the smart lighting game with their TRADFRI line, and they have a smart shading solution that will hit stores later this spring. Connected sound, then, should fit in just fine.