The Swedish furniture maker could be about to disrupt the expensive smart blind market
It was reported earlier this year that Ikea is planning to enter the smart blind market, and now it looks like the prices of two of its products have been revealed.
Images seemingly of pages yet to appear on Ikea's website show two types of smart blind. One is a regular roller blind called the Kadrilj and is priced at €99.95 ($112), and the other - a blackout roller blind called Fyrtur - is €139.
Both appear to be operated by the press of a button stuck to the window pane. When pressed, it is expected that this button causes the powered blinds to raise and lower with electric motors.
The images were published by Teknikveckan, a Swedish technology news website. The site has previously reported on the existence of Ikea smart blinds, after Twitter user Dave Zatz spotted a control unit passing through the FCC in September. This means the blinds are likely to launch in the US soon.
Awesome! Ikea's going to release smart blinds. We definitely need downward pricing pressure in this category. pic.twitter.com/Mx010A569J
— Dave Zatz (@davezatz) September 6, 2018
What is a smart blind?
At their simplest, smart blinds are raised and lowered by motors at the push of a button. But, with a connection to your Wi-Fi router and the internet, they can also be controlled by smart home assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, as well as the manufacturer's own app, and other smart home platforms.
Smart blinds can be programmed to raise and lower as the sun passes overhead, or to regulate the temperature in the room. For example, they can be set to lower when it gets too warm.
Image shows the unreleased blinds on Ikea's websiteTeknikveckan
They can also be added to smart home routines, just like smart lights, plugs, and other connected devices. That way, you could say "Alexa, it's movie time" and have this instruction dim the lights and lower the blinds of your TV room.
Currently, smart blinds are expensive. Products from companies like Lutron, Somfy and Pella can cost $300 to $500 per window, while retrofit devices which fit to the wall and pull on the chain of your existing blinds - like the Soma - cost around $150.
If Ikea can sell a smart blind, complete with motor, control button, Wi-Fi connection and the actual blind, for around $112, then this will be by far the cheapest option.
The blinds are expected to join Ikea's Tradfri collection, which already includes a range of budget-priced smart lights.
Best Motorized Blinds for Your Smart Home in 2019 www.youtube.com