Swedish furniture company IKEA has announced a partnership with Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi to form a smart home ecosystem at the Xiaomi AIOT Developers Conference.
Firstly the partnership will connect IKEA’s line of smart lighting products to Xiaomi’s IoT platform, starting in December. In other words, Xiaomi’s Mi Home app and voice assistant Xiao Ai will be able to control smart lighting devices made by IKEA.
In the future, maybe IKEA will put Xiaomi’s smart home products in the stores, including air purifiers, smart lamps and smart cameras.
By targeting the growing middle class, IKEA is well received in the Chinese market. Of IKEA’s 10 biggest stores in the world, eight of them are located in China.
Both companies are likely to benefit from this partnership – IKEA’s connected devices will be widely supported on Xiaomi’s platform, while Xiaomi’s smart home name will be better known thanks to IKEA’s big name in homes.
By investing in artificial intelligence and IoT, Xiaomi has been pushing its smart home products. Of the 220 companies it has invested, 100 focus purely on smart devices. Its voice assistant “Xiao Ai” has been activated in 100 million devices since launched, with 34 million monthly active users, said the company.
First known for selling affordable smartphones, Xiaomi aims to transform itself through the trending artificial intelligence and connected devices, as the global smartphone market has seen flat growth for the past few quarters.
IKEA, on the other side, has adopted the partnership strategy to push itself forward in the smart home market. In addition to the partnership with Xiaomi in China, the Swedish furniture giant has made its connected devices working with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.