Would you buy Ikea's new robotic furniture?

The Swedish furnishing giant's new product 'Rognan' can transform into a bed, a desk and a storage unit — perfect for studio apartments and other small spaces

If you’ve ever tried to fit useable furniture into a small space, you know it’s a struggle. But with housing affordability remaining challenging and more people considering moving into smaller homes and studio apartments, Ikea may be able to help out.

The Swedish furniture and home furnishings giant just unveiled an all-in-one, transforming piece of robotic furniture designed specifically for small spaces, as tech website The Verge reported. However, Ikea has yet to reveal the price for the system.

Called the Rognan, it’s controlled by a touchpad and can instantly, automatically convert into a bed, a room divider, a couch, a desk and a closet and storage shelving.

Ikea Rognan robotic furniture in bed mode.

Ikea Rognan robotic furniture in bed mode. © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2019

It has been developed in partnership with U.S.-based smart furniture startup Ori Living, and is compatible with Ikea’s Tradfri line of smart lights. It also works with Ikea’s Platsa line of storage furniture.

Ikea Rognan robotic furniture highlighting the bed and closet space

Ikea Rognan robotic furniture highlighting the bed and closet space. © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2019

A video posted by Ikea shows an imaginary couple living out their entire day using the Rognan, switching between bed, closet, desk, couch and back to bed again.

ROGNAN from IKEA Today on Vimeo.

“The population of cities is growing, and our living spaces are shrinking,” Ikea announced on its Instagram page. “Rognan is a product for this new reality of modern urban life.”

But New Yorkers and other urban-dwellers who could use such a system will have to wait.

To start, the Rognan is slated to launch in 2020 in Japan and Hong Kong, two places known for the extreme density of their cities.

According to Ikea, the storage unit could save one’s home an additional eight square meters (about 86 square feet) of space.

Ikea Rognan robotic furniture with desk expanded

Ikea Rognan robotic furniture with desk expanded. © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2019

“Instead of making the furniture smaller, we transform the furniture to the function that you need at that time,” Ikea product developer Seana Strawn said in a press statement. “When you sleep, you do not need your sofa. When you use your wardrobe, you do not need your bed.”

While such space-saving techniques may seem extreme, the trend of tiny homes has been gaining serious traction — last month, a $7,000 do-it-yourself tiny cabin sold out within hours of being featured on Amazon.

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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