Teaming up with UNYQ, a design company offering customised 3D-printed medical wearables and Area Academy, well-renowned for their educational structures, program and courses within e-sports, IKEA wants to initially improve life for gamers at home.
“It’s true that we haven’t seen the full potential of this group earlier and we haven’t looked into their specific needs at home as much as we should. There are many myths and misunderstandings surrounding gamers. In fact, it is a large group of people in all ages where gaming is even a full-time job for some”, says Michael Nikolic, Creative leader at IKEA of Sweden.
Exploring the technique by UNYQ, built upon an initial body scan to add a personal fit to the following 3D-printed products, it is possible to customise products after different physical needs and taste. In the long run, IKEA wants to apply the new learnings to other groups of people and customers with specific requirements.
“By working with IKEA, we can explore new ways to leverage a concept we’ve been working with for years, as well as the technological process to implement it. Understanding individuals’ unique needs are what drives UNYQ’s strategy and are the basis for all of our products – we feel completely aligned with IKEA on this mission” says Eythor Bender, CEO of UNYQ.
Since the three-part collaboration started one year ago, the different expertise has been used creatively and productively. The first prototypes from UPPKOPPLA, a series of home products, such as customised gaming accessories, desk supports, chairs and tables is a wristband, keycaps and a mouse “bungee” to improve gaming precision. The prototypes and an app to capture the biometrics will be presented at Democratic Design Days in Älmhult, Sweden, at the beginning of June.
”It’s actually striking how unexplored this part of the gaming industry is. Focus has always been on the hardware, and everything else has been ignored”, says Tommy Ingemarsson, founder and CEO of Area Academy.
The ambition is that new learnings from personalisation for gamers will lead to solutions also for people suffering from, for instance, physical disabilities or physical strains. It can also shorten the supply chains, minimise waste and shorten transports – ending up with more sustainable products.
“This is an exciting chance to create products that can be personalised and unique for people with particular needs. We’re looking forward to customising other kind of products for more groups of people”, says Michael Nikolic.
UPPKOPPLA is planned to be sale started from 2020.