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Ikea’s Trådfri smart bulbs are getting a whole lot smarter

(TECH NEWS) Ikea’s new smart bulbs will allow for full smart home integration.

ikea

Lights are getting smarter

You have smart phones, smart cars, smart watches, and even smart locks or furniture. Now, it is finally time to say hello to smart light bulbs!

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This summer, IKEA will start selling “plug-and-play” light bulbs that recognize voice commands.

Smart bulbs

The bulbs will be compatible with Google Assistant, Apple Siri & HomeKit, and Amazon’s Alexa. They operate via remote control or an app, seamlessly integrating lighting to a digital experience.

The TRÅDFRI smart lights were first announced in Europe last year, but the voice-control feature was a later addition.

Although by no means is IKEA the first manufacturer of “smart lights” (Philips Hue has plenty of smart integration options), IKEA’s worldwide presence (340 stores in 28 countries) allows it to market this new technology to a vast customer base almost overnight.

In addition, IKEA presents a serious price challenge to its competitors and quickly disrupt the smart lighting market. For example, Trådfri’s gateway (controller) costs only $29.99, about half of the Philips Hue’s $59.99 price tag.

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Smart home

In a statement, IKEA’s Product Manager Bjorn Block said, “With Ikea Home Smart, we are challenging everything that’s complicated and expensive with the online home. By ensuring that our products work with others on the market, we take another step to meet people’s needs and make it easier to interact with the products for the smart home.”

Because IKEA already offers smart home products— including LED lighting and wireless charging furniture —smart bulbs seemed like the logical next step, “enabling people to build onto their smart home solution.”

Ry Crist of CNet tested Trådfri before it was integrated to popular smart home platforms, which kept him from recommending the bulbs to customers. Realizing the mistake perhaps, IKEA addressed that issue. “Making our products work with others on the market takes us one step closer to meet people’s needs, making it easier to interact with your smart home products,” Björn Block wrote in a prepared statement.

Good call, Ikea

This latest product launch distinguishes a new phase for the company. With heavy investment in promising startups for the past several years, IKEA is poised to finally reap what it sowed— bringing a series of game changing technology inside every customer’s home and transform households into “smart homes.”

Trådfri in that sense only seems to be only the start. The company hinted at more product launches to come– smart lights, motion sensors, dimmers, and switches.

Trådfri

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Barnil is a Staff Writer at The American Genius. With a Master's Degree in International Relations, Barnil is a Research Assistant at UT, Austin. When he hikes, he falls. When he swims, he sinks. When he drives, others honk. But when he writes, people read.

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