Is IKEA Launching a Smart Home Speaker to Take on Amazon and Google?

You’re probably familiar with voice-powered home assistants (and glorified bluetooth speaker systems) like the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. Well, we can expect a competitor—courtesy of IKEA. Not to be outdone in the realm of home audio and the Internet of things, everyone’s favorite meatball maker-and-home-furnishings-store just announced it’s teaming up with in-home audio company, Sonos. Details on the collaboration are virtually nonexistent but according to The Verge, we do know that the move is meant to be the third step for Ikea’s Home Smart initiative (preceded by Qi wireless charging, and smart lighting).

In a statement Björn Block, Business Leader, IKEA Home Smart at IKEA of Sweden explained:

“Together with Sonos we want to democratize music and sound in the home, and we want to create products designed for how people listen together at home. By teaming up with Sonos we want to combine IKEA home furnishing knowledge with Sonos’ expertise within great home sound.”

So what does this mean for consumers? Maybe that your POÄNG chair will be able to differentiate your backside from the backsides of others in your home and play your favorite playlist upon sitting? It’s possible—I mean it’s basically anyone’s guess at this point. Though with such a huge partnership, I’m inclined to think this new revelation will be about more than the ability to play your favorite song in any room of the home.

As a kid, I was always really jealous of my friends that had in-wall intercom systems in their houses—perhaps the collaboration will bring us a home-wide intercom for the new millennium? You know, call the kids down to dinner via integrated speaker system that resonates out of their SVÄRTA bunkbeds. Or, maybe it will give us the ability to tell our coffee table to charge the iPhone sitting atop it with one simple voice command.

What do you think? What will this new collaboration between IKEA and Sonos bring us? Weigh in in the comments.

h/t Fast Company

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