IKEA enters… gaming hardware?

Bookcases. Tables. Chairs. Beds. Even smart speakers and lamps. We get most of where IKEA is, but the latest announcement is tad surprising.

Furniture brands are expanding lately, and as the home becomes about more than what you simply sit on, stand against, lean on, and store things in or on, companies that started in the common bookshelf, bed, chair, table, and more, are beginning to just that: more.

IKEA is a fairly solid example of that, and between its Philips Hue-compatible smart lights (which haven’t quite made their way to Australia yet) and the Sonos-collaborated smart speakers (which are due sometime in August, hopefully), the brand is getting into other areas. Other surprising areas.

This week, IKEA has announced that it will be playing in the gaming space, teaming up with a design company working in the 3D printed medical wearable world, UNYQ, to build accessories for gamers on the PC side of things.

The accessories aren’t your usual keyboard or mouse, but rather are things meant to sit alongside, such as grippy keycaps for keyboards, a mouse bungee, and a wristband to improve ergonomics of gamers, with the prototypes worked on over the past year to “improve life for gamers at home”.

“There are many myths and misunderstandings surrounding gamers. In fact, it is a large group of people in all ages where gaming is even a full-time job for some,” said Michael Nikolic, Creative Leader for IKEA.

“This is an exciting chance to create products that can be personalised and unique for people with particular needs,” he said. “We’re looking forward to customising other kind of products for more groups of people.”

While the idea for IKEA’s gaming accessories is about improving physical strains for gamers, people keen to give these accessories a try will have to wait a little bit, with IKEA not set to sell the gadgets until 2020.

Next year some time is when you can expect them, with the Uppkoppla, as they’re being called, hopefully arriving locally then.