Anyone who’s ever lived in a small apartment (aka everyone in New York City, for starters) knows just how valuable space is. And let’s be honest—there’s only so much all of those space-saving hacks you pored over on Pinterest can do. After all, you still need a bed, a table, a couch, and preferably somewhere to store your clothes so they aren’t strewn all over the floor. Basically: Things can get really tight, really fast.
To solve your cramped conundrum, Ikea revealed yesterday that it will soon release a new robotic furniture system called Rognan that it claims will save people up to 86 square feet of space.
Um, robotic furniture?! What does that even mean?
The unit, which is on hidden wheels, will include a bed, desk, sofa, and storage and will be controlled via a touchpad. That means that with the press of a button, customers can move the system around the room, essentially turning it into a room divider which is great for people who live in studio apartments or share a small space with a roommate.
The touchpad can also slide the bed underneath the unit during the daytime, for instance, if you want more room to move around or retract the desk whenever you aren't using it. And even if you don't use any of the robotic functionality, the system doesn't look half bad as an everyday storage/sofa/desk combo piece.
How much will it cost?
The system will first launch in Hong Kong and Japan in 2020 and while no price has been announced as of yet, don’t expect it to come cheap. Ori Living, the startup that’s partnering with Ikea to produce Rognan, currently sells a similar product (although slightly flashier) for over $18,000.
And that hefty price tag is what has some of our experts wary about the new release. Our Smart Home Editor Sarah Kovac explains that “it will be expensive, and people with that kind of money will probably live in spaces that have plenty of room for furniture.”
So is it just another super expensive thing we don't need?
Not exactly. While Rognan may end up over-budget for the average American, there is something to be said for Ikea’s innovation—especially as the way we live changes. “As people are living in smaller spaces, I think this could be a trend to watch,” says Cindy Bailen, our Major Appliance and Home Design Editor. “In particular, it may interest the people who live in ‘apodments’ in cities.”
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.