Ikea's steps into the smart home space so far have been very much baby-sized. In 2015 we got wireless charging pads, lamps and bedside tables and in 2016 these were joined by the keep-it-simple-stupid Trådfri smart lighting - a range of connected bulbs that are super cheap, not the most fully featured but getting there.
Because Ikea isn't about to start selling us gross gadgets. Instead it's focusing on invisible, seamless, ambient tech in the home.
This newly announced collaboration between Ikea Home Smart and Sonos could be a big step in that same direction. We know next to nothing about it right now other than we should expect these "future home sound experiences" in stores in 2019.
The official release hyping the partnership points to the experiences - be it audio products, apps or interfaces we don't know - as striving to "make it even easier for people to play any song, anywhere in the home, without interrupting the flow of daily life. Enabling people to create the right atmosphere in their home with great design, music and sound." Ikea Home Smart's business leader Björn Block also said the idea is to build products "designed for how people listen together in the home."
“When we asked people what sound they associate with their homes many people mentioned that it is music that makes a home.” - Björn Block, Ikea
It's clear that one focus then will be on music controls in the home. But with Sonos already supporting Amazon Alexa - and adding Google Assistant this year - voice assistance could be another important puzzle piece when it comes to the overall concept of sound as could other audio alerts from cameras, appliances, doorbells and the like and how they interrupt music listening.
Don't rule out some sort of tactile controls, either, perhaps built into accessories and furniture as per the wireless charging range. Whatever we see, there's no doubt it will be slick, thoughtful and Scandi-approved.
Ikea Home Smart's projects so far have been ultra affordable - one of the things it's pushing for alongside accessibility. Sonos, as a multi-room system, does require forking out a few hundred of your chosen currency but the Sonos One is a neat entry point to the smart home that won't hurt most bank balances too harshly.