Ikea intends to create innovative, ergonomic esports equipment in its new design partnership

The concept was revealed at Ikea's Democratic Design Days event in Älmhult, Sweden.

Photo by OiMax/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Is there anywhere left to innovate when it comes to a gaming chair? Ikea says yes, it intends to do just that via a new partnership with medical wearable company UNYQ and esports education company Area Academy.

The Swedish home furnishing warehouse announced its esports equipment initiative during the Democratic Design Days event held in Älmhult, Sweden on June 7. Ikea and its partners have begun iterating on 3D-printed furniture that is customized for better ergonomics and “individualized appearance.”

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Whatever comes out of the partnership will be available to the public in 2020—still a few years away.

“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,” Area Academy founder Tommy Ingermarsson said in a statement. “But ergonomics are actually a equally important factor to becoming a better gamer.”

The industry typically caters to a one-size fits all approach, but Ikea is bucking that trend. The company said it’ll bring in top class gamers to explore the potential for better, more ergonomic solutions designed “to make bodies feel better and thereby improve game performance.”

“We are curious about how home furnishing combined with new technology could improve gaming and life around it,” Ikea Range & Supply design lead Marcus Engman said. “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.”

The partnership will also explore other aspects of gaming, such as making spaces “better prepared” for gaming experiences, like events and LAN get-togethers.