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IKEA brings energy tracking feature to Home Smart

Energy tracking comes to IKEA's smart home platform. (Source: IKEA)
Energy tracking comes to IKEA's smart home platform. (Source: IKEA)
As the Matter 1.3 announces new energy management functionality into the smart home standard, IKEA launches a new Energy Insights feature to its Home Smart app – but only for smart households in Sweden. In other news, the furniture company will release its first energy-monitoring smart plug in October.

A compelling point in favour of the smart home is the improved power efficiency of most smart devices which reflects in cost savings. With smart plugs and thermostats, homeowners can even directly monitor their energy consumption via companion apps such as Samsung SmartThings and Home Assistant.

Swedish furniture behemoth IKEA is piloting a new energy tracking feature called Energy Insights within its Home Smart app. The feature is limited to Sweden for the duration of the pilot launch and displays real-time energy usage data via charts in the app, much like the SmartThings Energy feature from Samsung. Energy Insights will also be able to show updated electricity spot prices and how the energy usage tracked compares to that of similar households. IKEA is promising even more personalized energy-saving tips in the future, including product recommendations and solutions that should help cut down energy costs.

With charts and graphs to provide insights into a household's energy use, smart homeowners using IKEA platform can take informed steps to becoming more energy efficient. (Source: IKEA)
With charts and graphs to provide insights into a household's energy use, smart homeowners using IKEA platform can take informed steps to becoming more energy efficient. (Source: IKEA)

Using IKEA Energy Insights does not require any smart home devices. Users will have to log into their IKEA family account and provide the app with details about their home appliances since Home Smart cannot connect directly to most smart plugs and third-party meters. IKEA's Matter bridge support is currently only available for smart lights. While the company does have a smart plug lineup (the Tradafri wireless control outlet), neither device has the required usage tracking functionality. However, the company appears to be playing the long game here. Cue: the Inspelning.

The Inspelning is slated for release this fall and will be the first ever energy-monitoring smart plug from the Swedish furniture giant. (Source: IKEA)
The Inspelning is slated for release this fall and will be the first ever energy-monitoring smart plug from the Swedish furniture giant. (Source: IKEA)

Keeping with the theme of energy tracking, IKEA has announced that a successor to the Tradafri smart plug will be globally available in October. The upcoming Inspelning smart plug, named after the Swedish word for "recording" or "measuring," will offer energy monitoring capabilities. The plug will connect via the Dirigera hub, allowing users to automate and control a device's power consumption directly within the IKEA Home Smart app. 

There is no mention of Matter support for the Inspelning. Although Matter 1.3 includes energy management features, the Dirigera hub is not likely to adopt the latest update to the smart home standard anytime soon. This situation is not unique to IKEA – Matter has generally received very slow reception among all the major smart home platforms. Smart home OEMs are generally unwilling to buy into a protocol if there are no platforms in support, and vice versa. Until that chicken-and-egg problem is solved, smart home interoperability remains a pipe dream.

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Sarfo Ashong-Listowell, 2024-05-14 (Update: 2024-05-14)