IKEA’s Everyday Experiments is their ongoing series of digital experiments with their products that “challenge the role of technology in the home.” Working with SPACE10, a research and design lab that produces innovative life solutions, the IKEA series is all about how their products can help consumers examine “how much fun they can have with technology” the company explains.
“When we think of ‘home’, technology is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. IKEA and SPACE10’s Everyday Experiments is a way of exploring how simple, beautiful, friendly digital creations can improve aspects of everyday home life. To take our preconceptions that technology can be intrusive, untrustworthy or confusing, and prove that it can actually be peaceful, helpful, secure and sustainable,” the IKEA website states.
To help imagine new ways of living, IKEA called upon the minds of some of the most innovative design and technology studios in different corners of the world. They put their heads together and started creating proposals to add to an ongoing series of digital experiments.
“Technology is quickly becoming a vital part of the IKEA customer experience and home furnishing offer,” Fredrik Axén, digital manager of the Core Business Franchise, Inter IKEA Systems B.V., explained. “As we enter a new digital era, we are also exploring new ways to create a better everyday life at home, while protecting people’s privacy.”
While Ikea has made technological investments, so have its home improvement and decor competitors. Etsy recently introduced an AR tool for Apple device users, and Lowe’s debuted an augmented video chat tool to connect its professionals to customers remotely.
As COVID-19 has forced many consumers to work from home, Ikea’s announcement comes as consumer interest in home improvement and decor is growing during the pandemic. A Mastercard SpendingPulse report found that online and in-store hardware sales rose by 36.2% in May and furniture sales increased by 7.5% year over year. Meanwhile, research from Apptopia found that app downloads for stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s and Menards have surged recently.
In explaining the goal of the IKEA, SPACE10 collaboration, Bas Van De Poel, creative director at Space10, explained, “Home — especially these days — plays an important role in how we develop our everyday interactions and relationships. It is not only the place where we live but the place where we work, teach our children and where we connect with the world digitally. We believe, the more we learn about the next curve of design and technological innovations, the more we can help people to make tomorrow’s life at home, and with each other, even better.”