When it comes to esports furniture, IKEA doesn’t really come to mind — and they’re hoping to change that soon. IKEA just announced partnerships with UNYQ, a medical company that produces wearable tech, and Area Academy, an esports company.
IKEA made its intentions to go into the esports equipment market known during the Democratic Design Days Event. It took place in Almhult, Sweden just last week on June 7th. Through IKEA and those it teamed up with, they have managed to use 3D printing to create gaming furniture they describe as more ergonomic and having an “individualized appearance.” It sounds like a promising start and they are definitely going into foreign territory, away from their usual home furnishings. We have a bit of a wait, however, to see what the final product will be from these three companies teaming up. None of the new designs and furniture will be available publicly until 2020.
It’s nice to see such a major furniture manufacturer dive into the world of esports. A new line of ergonomic equipment should appeal to both competitive and casual players, especially if it’s more user-friendly, comfortable and better for their physical health. One of the partners, Tommy Ingermarsson, had this to say:
”When considering how to enhance your performance within gaming, people usually think about the software of the device you use and not the functionality in your space. Ergonomics are actually an equally important factor to becoming a better gamer.”
IKEA’s Range and Supply design lead, Marcus Engman, added:
We are curious about how home furnishing combined with new technology could improve gaming and life around it… and we believe that we have just the right collaborations to do this, one that knows all about the needs of gamers and one those knows all about the technologies of personalization.”
Ingermarsson makes an important observation here. Gamers are more likely to perform better if their furniture is designed with the ideal comfort and support needed in the vast world of esports. IKEA is trying to break the mold here by catering to all types of esports players. They have even admitted they will be consulting with top gamers to get their designs right and find out exactly what people are looking for. The overall idea is to design the esports furniture in a way that it fits in with other home furnishings and doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. They want to explore how there can be a balance between gaming and home life. I, for one, am excited to see what they come up with.
While you wait for the gaming line to hit the market, you could always check out IKEA’s range of “office chairs” to use in the meantime. According to their website, these chairs range in price from $59.00-$230.00. Not a bad idea if you can’t wait till 2020!
Only time will tell if they are correct in their assumptions and theories on how they can better the lives of esports gamers. IKEA may very well make a name for themselves beyond being just another home store.
Tarah Bleier is a freelance writer , editor and content creator from Toronto. As a graduate from Centennial College’s Journalism program she has written for Tribute.ca, and Factinate.com and recently for Geek Enthusiast Magazine. In her free time she loves gaming, cosplaying, prop making and attending as many conventions and geeky events as she can. Writing has always been a passion of hers and she has been a contributing writer of The Planet Observer for many years before becoming its Assistant Editor last year. Her work can also be seen on The Geekcast Radio Network where she has been a podcast host and writer.