You’ve been using “wave and pay” credit and debit cards. Depending on where you reside, you may have also experienced the wireless charging at your nearest Starbucks. The nightmare of messy cables for charging is slowly but surely going away. Soon, wireless charging could be a standard (and boring) feature at everyone’s home. IKEA is bringing wireless charging to a new level.
At Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, the Swedish furniture giant announced its own version of Home Smart – a collection of wireless charging furniture. From tables, lamps, desks, nighstands and even the base of a lamp, charging your smartphone, tablet and soon-to-be-smartwatch will be easier – eliminating charging stations and cable clutter. IKEA also will be selling the wireless charger with pad (single or triple).
What this means is you will be able to charge your smart gadgets anywhere at home without have to worry about cable limitation. And if you’re crazy enough, you can actually charge your smartphone wirelessly in the toilet while answering nature’s call (*grin*). Incorporating Qi-technology into its product offerings, IKEA’s new collection will be available in stores and online 15th April 2015 in Europe and North America, followed by a global roll-out.
The Qi-standard is supported by smartphone makers such as Samsung (including the latest released Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge), HTC, Motorola, Nokia, Nexus, LG, Sony, and Microsoft. Unfortunately, the iPhone and older versions of the Galaxy S don’t support wireless charging, but IKEA said it will sell special charging covers for the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5S and 6, as well as the past three generations of Samsung Galaxy S phones.
However, while this will get rid of device wires and any need to remember where you put your charger, the furniture itself will require a power source to facilitate the energy transfer to your smartphone or tablet. IKEA said customers can choose to buy wireless charging kits and build into existing furniture, with a starting price of Euro 30 (US$33.60, £21.90, RM122). Furniture with built-in wireless charging facilities will cost Euro 20 extra.
For the hands-on people, IKEA sells a hole saw that will drill a circle in your furniture that’s just the right size for an IKEA wireless charger (sold separately). The Home Smart furniture contains plus “+” signs that indicate where you should rest your mobile device for charging. Nevertheless, we don’t know if the IKEA wireless charging furniture or charger would cause gadgets to get excess heat while charging.
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