Smart homes are a growing reality with companies introducing artificial intelligence software quite frequently. In the current market, it has become vital for electronics manufacturers to devise some way to incorporate AI and smart functionalities. This is why Ikea, the leading furniture, kitchen appliance, and home accessories brand, has now introduced LED lights that will be compatible with the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit devices.

Ikea introduces smart lighting

On Tuesday, May 23, Ikea announced that it would add support for the Google Assistant, Alexa, and Apple’s Siri into its Tradfri brand of products.

The company’s product manager Bjorn Block said that addition of this feature would help address people’s needs and make it easier them to interact with their smart homes. What Block stated makes a lot of sense since some of Ikea’s competitors have already implemented similar features in their lighting systems.

For instance, Philips Hue White LEDs already work with all of the three i.e. Assistant, Alexa, and Siri. Additionally, Phillips LEDs also work with third-party services such as SmartThings and IFTTT. Ikea may have realized that its competitors were gaining a foothold regarding the smart home support, which may have pushed it to introduce the Tradfri line of lights.

The two-bulb Tradfri lighting starter kits are priced $10 more than the two-bulb Phillips Hue White pack.

However, the Tradfri bulbs are brighter than its Phillips counterpart and also come in a variety of colors and shapes. It has varying size options for users as well, which include panels for fitting into Ikea furniture. The range of the Tradfri bulbs starts at just $12 per piece, while it costs $18 for a basic multi-color and temperature setting bulb.

Concerns regarding the Tradfri smart bulbs

Although it is a wise business decision to offer support to the primary three sections of the market, namely Google, Amazon, and Apple users, it still raises some questions as to how Ikea plans on implementing the support. While the Assistant and Alexa integration would be simple on account of the developer’s tools which both companies have released for third-party integration of their software, implementing Siri would be much tougher.

HomeKit compatibility will be the toughest hurdle because Apple places strict hardware and software demands on its device partners in order to ensure the security of the platform.

It is also unknown at this juncture if the Tradfri Gateway Hub, which controls the Tradfri bulbs are built to meet the standards that Apple has set. If not, Ikea will have to change some hardware settings and release the product once again. It remains to be seen if the company can keep its promise of releasing support for all three platforms by fall 2017.