Food for thought #1

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Your weekly brain refresher.

Let’s broaden our horizons with a selection of innovations powered by technology. This week we will talk about IKEA. Time to get inspired!

IKEA ramps up its (digital) game!

On this cold Monday, we head north to Sweden – or should I say Netherlands and Liechtenstein – to look at recent, surprising, innovations coming out from the iconic IKEA conglomerate.

70 years of history at your fingertip

Renowned for its signature catalog, the firm is celebrating the release of its 70th edition by letting anyone consult the entirety of its past editions on IKEA’s online museum. Because IKEA had such influence on lifestyle, this nostalgic time machine is absolutely worthy of your attention. Simply browsing through these catalogs, tech enthusiasts will even notice the growing importance of technology in the living room

IKEA online museum

If you live in Sweden or pass through the kingdom in the following weeks, don’t hesitate to go brick and mortar and visit “The IKEA catalogue through the ages” exhibition at the IKEA Museum, in Älmhult.

IKEA x ROG

It is surprising that IKEA waited so long before making strides into the gaming ecosystem, but later is better than never. According to its press release: “IKEA teams up with Republic of Gamers (ROG) to develop a new range of affordable gaming furniture and accessories to bring the gaming experience at home to a new level. The range consisting of about 30 products will be launched first in China in February 2021, and from October 2021 it will be available in other IKEA markets.”

IKEA and ROG workshop with professional gamers and gaming lovers in Shanghai
IKEA and ROG workshop with professional gamers and gaming lovers in Shanghai

To justify its incursion into video games, IKEA explains that there are 2.5 billion gamers worldwide, but that their needs in terms of home furnishing have been so far overlooked. No actual product coming out of this partnership has been revealed just yet, so keep your eyes peeled!

Virtual Influencers

Virtual influencers are a growing trend. These CG characters are active on social media in various forms; the most famous of these influencers being Miquela, who transitioned from Instagram celebrity to pop star.

IKEA is the latest company to leverage a virtual influencer to promote its brands in Japan, but the company added its twist to the formula. A few weeks ago, the IKEA Harajuku store in Tokyo hosted an installation starring a virtual influencer, Imma, who is usually active on Instagram and TikTok.

Of course, this isn’t a real living space, since Imma is a CG character and not an actual human. However IKEA says that it “created the installation using LED screens inside of the physical rooms, which were “curated” by Imma, to give the appearance of Imma being in a real place”. Phew.

Have a lovely week,

Antoine

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