Finding an attractive solution that contains the TV, the required components and all those unsightly cables is a common problem among couples. IKEA has come up with a new answer to the dilemma by building a smart TV into the furniture that will store it. The Scandanavian home furnishing company, known for their wildly affordable minimalist furniture and obsession with additional storage, is building an HDTV set right into the cabinet, creating an all-in-one home entertainment system that also includes Wi-Fi, a Blu-ray player, stereo, and speakers.
They’re calling it the Uppleva, and this Internet-ready TV comes embedded in the most tricked-out wall shelving set ever to hit a big box retail store. The 1080p LED TV is the centerpiece of the suite that’s integrated into a customizable, modular rack-shelving unit that comes in a variety of colors that’s bound to fit well with many living room decors. Hidden inside the shelving is a subwoofer and a 2.1-channel audio system and a Blu-ray player, while an iPod A/V input is already built into the TV.
WEB TV SOFTWARE INCLUDED IN THE SET
The IKEA TV wants to be the TV of choice for people who watch TV on the Internet. Tech blog GigaOM has discovered that the Uppleva will feature YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, and a host of other web TV software. An IKEA spokesperson said the smart TV would include about 20 apps for music, games, video on demand, and video storage and playback.
The apps will actually differ from country to country, and IKEA appears hesitant to name many of them yet. The GigaOM report mentions TuneIn Radio as the streaming radio music app and the German site QTom, which isn’t available in the U.S., for music videos. The web TV software roster for the Uppleva is understandably not yet determined, but the set seems targeted at viewers who are ready to drop cable television.
INTERNET READY TV AND STEREO WITH NO VISIBLE CORDS
The idea behind the design is to maximize the number of gizmos in the home entertainment system, while minimizing the cords and cables and additional remote controls. The whole IKEA home entertainment is controlled with a single remote control. IKEA actually has teams of anthropologists who observe people in their homes and note how they behave with electronic devices. They learned buyers love additional electronic components, but hate how the components don’t match the furniture, create additional cord clutter, and confuse them with yet another remote control.
The TV design is especially minimalist, with the cabinets providing the main visual aesthetic. No components are visible, except the HDTV screen. The goal was to “design the electronics from a home furnishing perspective, not from the electronic world,” an IKEA TV designer told Creativity Online
The Uppleva TV will be available with screen sizes ranging from 24” to 48” – not that large, by U.S. standards. The reported pricing of the Uppleva will start at $960. Would U.S. consumers pay nearly $1,000 for a 24-inch smart TV, if it comes equipped with Blu-ray, a wireless subwoofer, a complete web browser, and some exceptionally attractive shelving? IKEA is betting they will, because integrated furniture is an emerging concept that could solve an all too familiar design dilemma. The Uppleva hits select European IKEA stores this year, with a U.S. rollout likely in 2013.
The founder of IKEA started the company with a motto that translates loosely to, “Not for the rich, but the smart.” With the company branching into smart TVs and smarthomes, he may not have known how correct he would someday be.
Would the Uppleva solve your design dilemmas? Let us know by leaving a comment.