IKEA has been known almost exclusively as the top retailer for furniture worldwide, but now the brand is branching off and expanding into different territory – gaming. \n \nIKEA is partnering up with UNYQ, a company which, according to their website, design “innovative mass customized products, re-imagining orthopedic devices using 3D printing to create products that heal or reflect you.” Together with Area Academy, a company focused on merging education with eSports, IKEA and UNYQ plan to use this vision to release a line of useful accessories aimed at the gaming industry. \n \n \n \nDubbed UPPKOPPLA, IKEA is leaping into a field that is both crowded and underappreciated at the same time. While there are many products on the market focused on gaming and eSports, the prototypes that IKEA showed off during their Democratic Design Days 2019 event in Sweden stood out for their interesting approach to balancing technology with home accessories. Included in the presentation were products like keyboard caps to help fingers from slipping during gameplay and mouse bungees to give gamers more control over their actions. \n \nPerhaps one of the freshest products featured during the event was a device used for supporting the hand and wrist during gameplay. IKEA talked about a biometric phone application that would take a picture of the user’s hand and, using UNYQ’s method of creation, could then create personalized support for individual players. \n \nProducts like these are regularly used within professional gaming, specifically eSports and streaming, as gamers can spend upwards of 12 hours a day using the computer. While it might not seem like much, doing this can put a lot of strain and physical demand on a person, from stiffness of the body from sitting in one spot for so long to arthritis and joint pain due to micro-movements in the hands. \n \nBy creating this exciting line-up of products at a refreshingly economical price point, IKEA will be catering to a need that many in the video game industry might not be considering at its depth. When it comes down to it, the gaming community is vast and growing every day. It’s not just professional gamers that need more supportive accessories to help them continue doing what they love, and IKEA seems to be ready to access and supply this need. \n \nNot only will this new range of products offer better accessibility and functionality for all gamers, but it will also assist people who have difficulty playing due to pre-existing physical issues. In the future, it will be interesting to see how IKEA branches off into the gaming world and whether or not this newest venture will be successful or not once it hits the market in August 2020.