Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
IKEA Smart Blinds

IKEA Australia offers smart blinds that talk to Google, Alexa

The home of the future is kind of becoming a reality, at least so far as automatically dimming and brightening that window is concerned.

When you think about the “home of the future” in science fiction, there’s a good chance that there’s an approach to automatic design in pretty much everything.

Front doors that open for you, lights that turn on as you walk into the room and off as you leave, and a computer that speaks to you. As to you wake up, that same computer tells you the weather and your important daily events, while opening the blinds to alert you to the weather.

You may not realise it, but all of this stuff is now available, right down even to the blinds that open up, and when it all comes together, it can even do that whole waking you up thing. You can find smart door locks that are alerted to your Bluetooth and open up as you near, smart lights that can work with motion sensors to turn on and off when you walk past them, and the computer that speaks to you is just one of the smart assistants on a smart speaker, be it Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, or Apple’s Siri.

And now the automatic blinds thing is a reality in Australia, too.

IKEA’s local arm has launched its approach to smart blinds, launching two ranges of blinds that works with an automated winder that can work with wireless newt works and talk to current smart systems.

IKEA’s Fyrtur and Kadrilj are the variations, with either a sheer or light blocking blind starting from $189, and they connect to a winder that needs a battery, but talks to IKEA’s wireless gateway, the $49 Tradfri.

If you own IKEA smart lights, you may already have one of these, as it’s required to make it work. While some smart gadgets around the home don’t strictly need an external smart hub to connect, IKEA’s smart lights and now its smart blinds do, and so if you want the smart blinds to roll up when you tell Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant to do so, you’ll need the Tradfri gateway extra, which the blinds don’t come with.

Without Tradfri, IKEA Australia tells us that the smart blinds will work with a small remote control. With Tradfri, and you can connect your smart blinds through the IKEA Home app to the rest of your smart home.

“We know that demand for smart technology in the home has increased over the years,” said Maria Langford, Spokesperson for IKEA.

“We want to inspire Australians to take the step into a world of smarter living with home furnishing products that combine technology in a seamless and efficient way.”

One point worth noting is that IKEA’s automatic blinds reportedly come pre-assembled for attaching to the wall, so if you want IKEA smart blinds, you need to remove the current blinds you have.

While IKEA’s smart blinds are strictly the rolling fabric type and not Venetian, even if you have an existing and seemingly identical set of blinds from IKEA without the automatic roller attached, you’re effectively replacing the blinds and the roller unit, so you can’t use attach the smart blinds roller to your blinds.

“We recommend a layered window solution so FYRTUR can be combined with existing curtains, provided there is enough space between the curtain and the wall for the blind to fit,” a representative for IKEA Australia told Pickr.

That’s going to mean that if you do want that home of the future, you might want to Iook at the blinds and windows around your home, and decide which of the collection you want to be wireless.

Priced from $189 in Australia, decking out a home could get a little on the exy side to begin with, but an initial window could be a good testing ground, particularly if you pair it with a personal routine in a smart speaker to trigger either at a time or on command.

Read next