“Alexa, dim the lights.”
“Dimming the lights.”
That’s not just a fantasy: Amazon and IKEA have teamed up to make the smart home even smarter. Through the partnership, users of Amazon Echo devices will soon be able to control the brightness of IKEA’s Trådfri smart lighting system with simple voice commands.
The bulbs can already be controlled by a gateway device and a smartphone app, but by partnering with Amazon, the Swedish furniture company now has the chance to sell those bulbs to millions of people who own Echo devices.
“With IKEA Home Smart we challenge everything that is complicated and expensive with the connected home,” said Björn Block, IKEA Home Smart’s Business Leader. “Making our products work with others on the market takes us one step closer to meet[ing] people’s needs, making it easer to interact with your smart home products.”
IKEA entered the smart home products industry in 2015 when it began selling wireless charging lamps and other products designed with the tech-connected in mind. The furniture company plans to launch additional connected products in the years to come.
“We think that smart home technology should be accessible for everybody. That is why we will continue to make our products work with others on the market,” said Jeanette Skjelmose, IKEA’s Business Area Manager for Lighting and Home Smart.
IKEA isn’t the first to make its smart light technology interact with smart home products, however. Philips Hue White LEDs, which aren’t that much more expensive than Amazon’s smart lights, already work with Amazon Echo—not to mention Google Home Assistant and Apple HomeKit. But even though IKEA has some catching up to do, when two marketing behemoths like Amazon and IKEA join forces, anything is possible.
According to IKEA’s press release, the smart home functionality should go live this summer or early this fall.
IKEA also plans to add the functionality to Google’s Home Assistant and Apple’s HomeKit. According to CNET, Google is already working to help developers put its voice assistant to work. However, HomeKit compatibility will be the hardest to achieve because Apple places strict hardware and software demands on its device partners as a security precaution.
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