A revolutionary range of furniture has been developed that can charge smartphones, which will help remove redundant elements and get rid of the cable clutter everywhere.
Swedish furniture maker Ikea International has come out with a range of futuristic furniture with built-in wireless charging spots. The announcement was made on Sunday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The phone-boosting fittings include tables, desks, lamps and bedside cabinets. The wireless charging works through an energy induction transfer. The furniture needs to be connected to a power source. The new range will go on sale next month in Europe and North America followed by a global roll-out.
Battery power is still a major issue with most smartphone users. With constant app usage like location and video services, wireless charging on furniture or other everyday surfaces could be a welcome innovation as batteries tend to lose power faster than ever before.
Ikea said it will also begin selling wireless charging kits to build into existing furniture, with a starting price of EUR30 ($33.60). Furniture with built-in wireless charging facilities will cost an additional EUR20.
Jeanette Skjelmose, business area manager of lighting and wireless at Ikea said that during several researches and home visits it was found that people usually hate cable mess. They constantly worry about not finding the charger or running out of power. Ikea’s new innovative solutions, which assimilate both wireless charging and home furnishings, will help make home life a lot more simpler.
The furniture giant’s launching of wireless charging functionality on some of its new furniture enhances the battle for a global wireless charging standard, of which there are at present three, all vying to become the global leaders.
Ikea will equip its new range of furniture with Qi-certified wireless chargers. Qi is currently the leading global wireless charging standard from Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) and makes wireless charging pads and other products. It is available in hotels, restaurants and cafes, airports as well as public locations worldwide. The Qi-standard is supported by smartphone makers like HTC, Samsung and Microsoft with more than 80 Qi-enabled smartphones. Currently, there are nearly 15 models of Qi-enabled cars and other Qi mobile accessories in the market.
The two other big players in wireless charging are Power Matters Alliance (PMA) and the Alliance for wireless power, A4WP. In the U.S., the PMA standard is strong as it rolls out wireless charging facilities at Starbuck cafes and is also associated with Duracell Powermat, the supplier of wireless charging accessories. Qi charging technology works more with smartphones, but PMA charging technology has more availability in locations.
Menno Treffers, WPC chairman revealed that IKEA is working on its grand vision of making home life better with innovative, stylish and expedient collection that will help consumers see the beauty and simplicity of wireless charging.