The stress of trying to find or borrow a charger for your smartphone could soon be forgotten if Ikea has its way. The Swedish furniture giant has unveiled a new range of products that come with built-in wireless charging capabilities — just pop your smartphone or tablet on the surface, and watch the battery level start to climb.
The range includes floor, table and work lamps and two bedside tables that come with integrated wireless charging pads. The company is also selling separate wireless charging adapters that you can fit in with your existing home setup. The new furniture is going to go on sale in the U.K.and U.S. in April, with pricing set to be confirmed nearer the time.
Ikea is using the Qi standard for its new line of products, which means it’s compatible with Nokia phones and Google’s Nexus line. If you’ve got a recent phone from Apple, Samsung, HTC or LG, it’s unlikely to support wireless charging natively, though inexpensive adapters are available.
“Through research and home visits, we know that people hate cable mess,” said Ikea’s Jeanette Skjelmose in a press statement. “They worry about not finding the charger and running out of power. Our new innovative solutions, which integrate wireless charging into home furnishings, will make life at home simpler.”
Wireless charging protocols have struggled to gain widespread adoption, partly because no one can decide on one standard to stick to (and Apple refuses to come down on any particular side). Of the phones that natively support wireless charging, Qi is most common.
Starbucks, meanwhile, has rolled out wireless charging spots using the alternative Powermat or PMA technology, which very few phones support out of the box (though several can be made compatible with a replacement back cover). Let’s hope more handsets natively support one or even both of the standards in the years to come.
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