Image credit: Ikea
Smart speaker maker Sonos and Swedish retailer Ikea have just announced a partnership, and no one really knows what the pairing could lead to.
Brief though it is, the press release for the announcement is full of language that suggests this collaborative effort goes beyond merely selling Sonos products in Ikea stores, which would be the most obvious reason for such a partnership.
“Together with Sonos we want to democratize music and sound in the home, and we want to create products designed for how people listen together at home,” said Björn Block, the head of Ikea’s Home Smart initiative, in a prepared statement.
Block's position, in fact, suggests that Ikea likely intends to integrate Sonos devices with its furniture, much as it did with Qi wireless charging pads two years ago and with smart lighting devices last year.
Possible ideas include speakers hidden in desks and cabinets, or furniture you could speak to much as you might speak to a standalone smart speaker. The Sonos One suggests that Amazon's Alexa could even be a part of this effort. Unfortunately, we won't see what either company has planned until sometime in 2019.
It's also possible that Sonos and Ikea are simply working together to create ideal settings for showing how Sonos devices might fit into homes by using Ikea displays.
Sonos already does this with the little houses it made for its retail store in New York's SoHo neighborhood, but a partnership with Ikea would allow that concept to reach a much larger audience. In fact, Ikea's official page for the announcement seems to hint at this:
"Ikea is taking on sound in the home together with Sonos, and will explore how to make it even easier for people to play any song, anywhere in the home, without interrupting the flow of daily life," the statement read.