Ikea has joined the board of the Zigbee Alliance, confirming that the company is committed to using established standards for its smart home devices.
Ikea might not be the first name that springs to mind when you think about smart homes, but the company has been selling smart blubs, smart blinds and other devices for a number of years.
Leveraging the huge retail space that Ikea occupies, it offers affordability, as well as being able to seduce people with smart demos in its stores rather than trying to push things via online stores. We've been impressed with the Ikea smart devices we've reviewed.
An allegiance to Zigbee is good for everyone. It means that Ikea is using established standards that will ensure that its devices work with other Zigbee devices and you'll be able to control those devices without a bespoke hub - you'll just need a Zigbee controller.
One of the most accessible Zigbee controllers is the Amazon Echo Plus or the Echo Show. These Alexa speakers contain a Zigbee controller, meaning they can directly control Zigbee-enabled devices, so they can setup and control them natively, without the need for another app or hub connected to your router.
For anyone building a system of many parts, having a central controller makes things simple and the advantage of using something like the Echo Plus is that you get voice control for those devices too.
It's a small step, but as Zigbee adds big names to its roster, it moves closer to being a dominant standard for smart home devices.