Do you charge your phone next to your bed? Ikea knows you probably do, because 95 percent of people do. That's why when a new wave of iPhones came out, Ikea was ready with wireless charging furniture.

Ikea recently discovered another interesting statistic. In talking to thousands of people, 59 percent said music was crucial to creating an atmosphere in their homes. Ikea sensed a new opportunity. Why not design furniture that could play music?

That nugget of an idea is now a real thing. After a three-year collaboration with wireless speaker company Sonos, Ikea just unveiled two new products in its new Symfonisk line.

One is a lamp that is a wireless speaker, retailing for around $180. The other is a speaker that doubles as a floating bookshelf, which will sell for about $100. Both will be sold exclusively at Ikea starting in August 2019.

Is Ikea having an identity crisis?

At first, this Sonos partnership could seem like a bit of a publicity stunt to bring new customers in Ikea's doors. The company has recently announced major shifts in its strategy, such as more city-style stores and its acquisition of tech company TaskRabbit in 2017

Sonos its known for sleek design and quality sound. It wouldn't be hard for Ikea to license their technology and move a few wires around. Maybe the two could review color swatches together, then call it a collaboration.

But that's not what happened. Inc's partner publication FastCompany breaks it down.

Designed from the ground up

Though these speakers carry the Sonos brand name, Ikea doesn't white label products. They design everything in-house. Plus, they deemed the price point of out-of-the-box Sonos too expensive for their consumers.

To bring the bookshelf and lamp to market, Ikea and Sonos teams worked together to design and engineer them from scratch. The speaker-bookshelf needed to be able to bear weight. The lamp needed to accommodate for efficient flow of both sound and heat. The end result might look kinda funky, but it's definitely something new that the market hasn't seen before. Time will tell if customers buy into it and illuminate their homes with Symfonisk light and sound.

Published on: Apr 12, 2019
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