IKEA reveals 3D-printed Uppkoppla accessories designed for gamers

IKEA has unveiled a collection of customisable 3D-printed accessories created to help people play video games at home in greater comfort and style.

The Uppkoppla collection comprises a series of prototypes developed to improve the lives of gamers by addressing issues relating to furniture design, customisation and accessibility.

The initial prototypes include a wristband, keycaps and a mouse "bungee" designed to improve gaming precision.

IKEA reveals 3D-printed accessories designed for gamers

The Swedish company collaborated on the project with UNYQ, a design company producing bespoke 3D-printed medical wearables, and Area Academy, which develops educational programmes and courses linked to e-sports.

UNYQ offers a body-scanning process that is used in this context to tweak the design of the printed objects so they become more ergonomic and tailored to the gamer's style.

With more than two billion people playing video games around the world and the numbers steadily increasing, IKEA identified a market with unique needs that are not currently being confronted by design companies.

"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," said Michael Nikolic, creative leader at IKEA.

"There are many myths and misunderstandings surrounding gamers. In fact, it is a large group of people of all ages where gaming is even a full-time job for some."

IKEA plans to develop a broader range of home products such as desk supports, chairs and tables. These will be customised using an app that will gather the necessary biometric data.

The company has said it wants to apply the knowledge gained from this project to other user groups such as people suffering from physical disabilities or strains.

IKEA reveals 3D-printed accessories designed for gamers

"This is an exciting chance to create products that can be personalised and unique for people with particular needs," Nikolic added. "We're looking forward to customising other kind of products for more groups of people."

The prototypes were presented during the Democratic Design Days event at IKEA's headquarters in Älmhult earlier this month. The Uppkoppla collection should be made available to customers in 2020.

Also during Democratic Design Days, IKEA announced a partnership with artist Olafur Eliasson's Little Sun project that encourages people to harvest their own solar power.

The company has also collaborated with American start-up Ori to design a robotic furniture collection that transforms small living spaces, and has launched a range of home accessories made from rice straw to help reduce pollution in India.