Items of furniture that incorporate wireless smartphone charging spots have been unveiled in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress.
No longer will homeowners be scrabbling around to find their phone charger; Ikea has come to the rescue by developing the Home Smart range of lamps, bedside tables and office furniture – all of which feature a charger.
Eighty models, including the Samsung Galaxy S6, will be compatible with the household items, which use the QI wireless charging standard. Ikea says that a special wireless charging cover will be needed for phones that don’t support this standard – which include the iPhone 5 and 6, plus the Samsung Galaxy S5. This cover is available to buy in store.
Ikea to launch new range in April
The furniture, which has been designed in typically sleek Ikea fashion, is aimed squarely at both the home and office market, and will go on sale in the UK and USA in April. The range was created after extensive research and many home visits, in which Ikea’s team noted how ‘people hate cable mess…they worry about not finding a charger and running out of power’.
QI is not the only charging standard that is being developed; attendees at the Consumer Electronics Show would have seen a non-inductive system called WattUp, which can apparently charge items which are located in a 30ft radius, according to the BBC.
Speaking about the Home Smart range, Ikea’s Jeanette Skjelmose said: “Our new innovative solutions, which integrate wireless charging into home furnishings, will make life at home simpler.”
The items will additionally include a USB outlet so that devices other than smart phones can be charged. The range is priced from £30.
With device charging now a primary concern for furniture designers, forecasters have claimed that this will be one of the biggest trends to hit the market in the coming years. In response, green campaigners have called for consideration to be paid to the environmental aspects, such as the time when owners decide to upgrade their furniture and sell on or throw out what they currently have.