Ikea is delaying the release of its smart blinds until later in 2019 while it works on improved firmware, the furniture company confirmed to The Verge today. The smart blinds were originally supposed to be released last month in Europe and hit US stores on April 1st, but Ikea is delaying the launch because it found “an opportunity for improved functionality,” and it needs to update the firmware before launch. Welcome to 2019, when your smart blinds have been delayed due to firmware updates. There is a silver lining, though: Ikea says that the delay means that the “smart” part of the blinds — the ability to control them with the Ikea Trådfri smart home app, and through that, with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant — will actually be available at launch, instead of in a later firmware update. While the delay is disappointing, Ikea’s smart blinds are still exciting due to their dramatically low cost compared to existing smart shades: the Kadrilj shades were originally announced to start at 99 euros (around $113) for the smallest size, and the Fyrtur blackout shades were said to start at 119 euros (around $136). That means that whenever they do release, they’ll likely still be the cheapest smart shades available by a considerable amount. As of now, Ikea doesn’t have an exact date when the blinds will go on sale in the US. The company still plans for sales to start in most markets sometime in 2019.
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