STOCKHOLM – Already the one-stop shop for smart and compact home furnishing, IKEA is venturing into the world of technology – with the IKEA TV.
The new furniture range, named UPPLEVA, the Swedish word for experience, integrates an LED TV, a sound system with wireless bass speakers, an internet connection and CD, DVD and Blu-ray players – all in one self-assembly piece.
Although the TV and the other electronics are made by Chinese manufacturer TCL, IKEA has built everything around them, hiding the masses of cables that can be a nuisance and make a living room look shabby.
To further simplify things, IKEA and TCL have combined all the controls into a single remote.
The furniture surface is especially designed to allow the remotes signals through, so the devices can remain hidden from view.
The TV screens are available in four different sizes, from 24 inches to 46 inches, and in a range of colors including gray, black and blue. Users are also able to plug in their iPods or other MP3 music players.
Like most IKEA furniture, the UPPLEVA is purchased in a flat-pack and is ready for assembly at home for those handy with screwdrivers and other tools.
The furniture comes in three designs.
It will be sold first in Sweden, France, Poland, Germany and Italy in June, with a few more markets due to launch in the second half of the year.
By the first half of next year, it will be available worldwide, with the cheapest costing about $955.
To test market appetite for its latest innovation, IKEA had a survey conducted by pollster YouGov.
The poll showed that three out of four people want fewer visible cables in their living rooms and 50 percent wanted to reduce the amount of electronics lying about.
The study, done in five countries with more than 5,200 respondents between Feb. 29 and March 15 this year, also showed that 60 percent of the people asked have between three to four remote controls at home.