Image: Indoor Growing Kits & Cultivators by IKEA ( IKEA)

 LONDON - The home furnishings retailer IKEA is now experimenting with products that allow people to harvest food at home.

Space10, Ikea's innovation lab, has designed a prototype of a mini-farm that can grow greens and herbs indoors.

The prototype known as Lokal, uses a hydroponic farming system that allows crops to grow on trays under LED light in a climate-controlled box.

Space10 debuted the device in September at the London Design Festival in Shoreditch.

Crops grow under LEDs instead of relying on natural sunlight. 

Accordinng to the Space10 team, this process allows the greens to grow approximately three times quicker than in an outdoor garden.

The Space10 team estimates that Lokol uses 90% less water than a traditional garden to produce the same amount of greens, since the crops grow at a faster rate.

Space10 gave 2,000 free samples of Lokal microgreens to London Design Week attendees.

The purpose was to see how Londoners felt about Ikea's experiment and food grown hydroponically in general. In a press release, the team said they were optimistic about the project.

The Space10 team is now working on adding sensors to the growing trays, so that users can track how the greens grow using Google Home. 

Using machine learning, the sensor system could allow gardeners to learn how to improve the growing process.


- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE