IKEA is moving into "hybrid furniture" with its new all-in-one UPPLEVA range. Integrating a home entertainment unit with AV equipment from Chinese manufacturer TCL, the UPPLEVA comes with a full-HD, smart LED TV, a combined Blu-ray, DVD, and CD player, and a 2.1 sound system featuring a wireless subwoofer - all operated by a single remote control.
The idea behind the UPPLEVA (the Swedish word for experience) is to rid a home of all the wires that are an inevitable part of owning multiple devices. How much of a problem you view this as will likely determine your level of interest - as will the price of 6,500 Swedish kronor (around US$955).
As the video below shows, the customer chooses the size of TV that's right for them (between 24- and 46-inches) and the frame that suits their style. They then choose the piece of furniture that they want to have in their house, subject to self-assembly, naturally. The customization options available (as seen from 1:50 onwards) are impressive, with sizes, units, and colors to suit the majority of mainstream tastes.
While it's a fairly elegant solution, there is a glaring issue with an all-in-one system such as this: what happens when the technology moves on to something new? The television included at launch isn't 3D-capable, for instance, despite the fact 3D is rapidly becoming a standard feature in all new TV sets (regardless of the level of interest the average consumer has in the feature). IKEA may well offer a solution to this in the future, whereby you can replace individual components ... although this would seem to defeat the purpose of offering such an all-in-one system.
The UPPLEVA range will first be available in IKEA's home country of Sweden, as well as France, Germany, Italy, and Poland, in June 2012. The rest of the world will follow by the middle of 2013.
Source: IKEA Sverige
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