IKEA’s new blinds for the smart home arrive April 1 in the U.S.

There has been a whole lot of hand-wringing in the smart home sector in the past month or so over whether the Swedish furniture giant IKEA would be bringing its jazzy new smart blinds to the U.S. market. The answer is “sort of.” But the good news is that at least one of the company’s new blinds products will be coming to the U.S., and will be available in IKEA stores and online as of April 1.

Now, we’ve known IKEA was moving into the smart home market for a while, thanks to the popularity and adaptability of its TRÅDFRI intelligent lighting range that now includes a wide variety of smart home products including LED bulbs, motion sensors, dimming kits, and so forth, all controlled by the lighting gateway and accompanying control app.

(By the way, IKEA brands all its products in ALL CAPS so if it sounds like we’re shouting, we’re not — just trying to respect cultural norms and keep world peace and stuff.)

There are two different blinds products in development, we think. On the company’s German website, there’s a blinds product called KADRILJ and another called FYRTUR and it looks like the European market will get both in another month or so, but the U.S. market is only getting the FYRTUR product, at least for now.

The blinds themselves are pretty cool and astonishingly user-friendly, especially compared to the divorce I almost earned building an IKEA bed with my wife. They are a fairly typical blackout blind with an opaque finish that will completely stop sun from coming in. We think the KADRILJ version is translucent.

ikea fyrtur smart blinds

The cool part is that you don’t have to plug the bloody things in, for once. FYRTUR blackout blinds come with a lithium-ion battery pack already integrated into the blinds. They can be recharged with a USB power brick, or you can simply buy additional power packs from IKEA if you’re not the patient sort.

Once the blinds are in place, owners can pair the device with an accompanying white control puck that can be used as a manual remote control. Smart home aficionados can also program the blinds to open and close at pre-designated times using the TRÅDFRI-friendly control app. Alexa, HomeKit and Google Assistant will all be available for voice control, since they all currently support the TRÅDFRI lighting gateway, control app, and its accompanying products.

ikea fyrtur smart blinds dims

There’s no official price on the FYRTUR blinds but based on some common-sense extrapolations of the prices listed in Germany, you can expect IKEA’s new smart blinds to come in somewhere around $150, give or take 20 or 30 bucks on either side. We’ll keep you posted.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.
Smart Home

Here’s everything Amazon and its partners announced for Alexa at CES

Amazon Alexa is rocking CES 2019. After selling millions of Echo and Dot smart speakers during the 2018 holiday season, extending its reach everywhere, Amazon has announced a ton of new partnerships with device manufacturers.
Smart Home

Array by Hampton brought locks and security lighting to CES 2019

Lock and lighting company Hampton is at CES 2019 with a new line of smart home products. Called Array by Hampton, the lineup includes internet-connected locks, lights, and an app to control them.
Smart Home

A.I.’s humorous side: Here are the funniest things to ask Alexa

Amazon's Alexa voice assistant has a wide repertoire of funny responses, jokes, and hidden replies that you can have fun with. Here are the best funny things to ask Alexa and examples of what her responses are.
Smart Home

The best washing machines make laundry day a little less of a chore

It takes a special kind of person to love doing laundry, but the right machine can help make this chore a little easier. Check out our picks for the best washing machines on the market right now.
Product Review

Gate’s Smart Lock is locked and loaded but ultimately lacks important basics

In a world of video cameras and doorbells comes the Gate Smart Lock, a lock with a video camera embedded. It’s a great idea, but lacks some crucial functionality to make it a top-notch product.
Smart Home

The best multicookers of 2019 for everything from sauteing to slow cooking

Find the best multicookers for your cooking ambitions. Whether you are just getting started in the kitchen or you've been cooking for years and want a device to make it easier, these are the best smart pots for you to choose from.
Smart Home

This Silicon Valley studio rents for $1,500 per month — to 2 cats

A man in San Jose, California, rents a studio apartment for $1,500 per month for a very important reason: So his daughter's two cats have a place to call their own. It may be the swankiest cat pad on the West Coast.

Amazon drops prices on Roomba robot vacuums by up to $150

Amazon is offering discounts on iRobot Roombas and other robot vacuums to help you get a leg-up on those chores. We've rounded up the best deals available now and put them all in one place.
Smart Home

Speed up cooking with one of the best pressure cookers on the market

Not all pressure cookers are created equally. You have to choose between stovetop cookers, multicookers, canners, and even microwave cookers. Our pressure cooking buyer's guide includes our picks for the best in each category.
Smart Home

Brew it fast, hot, and flavorful with our favorite coffee makers

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Smart Home

This just in: Alexa can now deliver the news like a professional newscaster

The Amazon Alexa team has given Alexa a newscaster voice that improves the way she delivers the news and reads Wikipedia articles, making the smart assistant easier to understand.