Ikea’s Everyday Experiments explores the future of smart home tech

The furniture brand is continuing its unusual approach to transforming spaces with a new platform that offers a look at the possibilities of the connected home

Ikea’s research and design lab Space10 has created an online platform that suggests creative ways that technology can be used to improve our homes. Ten design and technology studios were invited to produce prospective apps and tools for Everyday Experiments, which examines how to “create a better everyday life at home” with the help of AI, machine learning, AR, spatial intelligence, interaction design, gaze and gesture tracking, and beyond.

Some of the experiments seem genuinely useful, particularly the space design tools like Room Shuffle, Home Puzzle and Room Editor, which would offer people a way of envisaging how a new layout or piece of furniture would look at home.

Ikea Room Editor
Top: Hidden Characters by experience design studio Random. Here: Home Puzzle by Random Studio

On the goofier end of the spectrum are projects like Extreme Measures, which uses an AR elephant to measure space, and Hidden Characters, which would allow people to give their furniture a face – a sure fire hit for kids and those with anthropomorphic tendencies.

Elsewhere, creative studio Field devised Fort Builder, a Buckaroo-style app that would allow kids to build and destroy a furniture fort without making a mess – a suitable option for house proud families who would rather not follow Ikea Russia’s guides to constructing fortresses in lockdown.

Extreme Measures by creative studio Field

The experiments are just that – they don’t serve any practical function at this stage, and some of the more gimmicky projects are purely for entertainment purposes. However, the platform does offer an accessible entry point into the world of smart home tech, which often comes off as either too convoluted, or too dry now that the novelty of home assistants and smart meters has worn off.

Ikea has been eyeing up the tech sector for some time, particularly since the release of its Home Smart system. With a look and feel along the same lines as Google Creative Lab’s experimental content platform, Everyday Experiments signals Ikea’s ambition to cement itself as a worthy contender in this domain.

Fort Builder by Field
Optical Soundsystem by ManvsMachine, an app that would visualise music in real time