Wireless charging is becoming incredibly prevalent with many new smartphones and devices being manufactured with integral Qi capability and adapters available for those that don’t have the technology built in. It’s not just in people’s homes that wireless charging technology is on the rise either; both McDonalds and Starbucks have plans to introduce wireless chargers to their cafés in the UK this year for most models of smartphone. In Starbucks in particular, customers will place their device on wireless charging pads built into tables and will be able to power up for free. Customers will also be able to rent or buy adapters for smartphones and devices that don’t contain the wireless technology so that they can take advantage of easy charging.
With this new revolution in charging, IKEA is right on the money with their recently announced Home Smart range of wireless charging furniture that will be hitting UK and US stores in April 2015. The range came into production in a bid to cut down on messy cables and the struggle to find the correct charger for a phone, and through the new furniture IKEA hopes to add more convenience to people’s lives.
Wireless charging works through creating an electromagnetic magnetic field between a transmitter coil in the charger and a receiver coil in the smartphone or tablet. The two gadgets need to be in contact with each other in order for charging to take place, but placing a smartphone on a pad or mat is wholly more convenient than finding a wired charger in a mass of cables. Many new smartphone models have the needed coils built into their design, but there are a few such as the iPhone which need a charging case or adapter in order for the battery to be powered wirelessly.
inThe RIGGAD work lamp has a light wood coloured base with charger built in, a minimalistic hinged stand and lampshade that would work well on a desk or side table. The NORDLI bedside table is white with splayed legs and a cutout design to the front, while the SELJE bedside table is taller with straight legs. Both have a white charging pad built into them and would each make great side tables. For all of the furniture in the range, users just have to place their Qi compatible device onto the pad to begin charging their battery.
IKEA will also stock the white JYSSEN wireless charging pad used in its furniture on its own, which can be built into any new or existing furniture in the customer’s home to create a custom furniture piece.
In addition there will be two stylish NORDMARKE stand alone wireless charging pad accessories available in white and light wood colours and a choice of one or three pads. IKEA will also sell charging adapters for smartphones that are not currently Qi compatible and the ROMMA cable management box will help to cut down on unsightly wires. The range will start at around $30.
IKEA is a brand that embraces new and sustainable technology, with rapid electric car charging points developed with Nissan and Ecotricity available to use free of charge at all of their UK stores. These charging points are able to charge fully electric cars from 0% to 80% of capacity within 30 minutes, making them perfect for shoppers in a hurry. It has been recently announced that their Polish stores are on track to become energy independent following investments in wind farms, along with their Swedish and USA stores. The energy independent stores make more electricity from renewable sources than they consume, which is something they hope for all IKEA stores worldwide by the time we hit 2020.
With IKEA investing in new technology while encouraging their customers to live sustainably, it might not be long before we see start seeing all sorts of new and exciting gadgetry emerging from this retailer, with both convenience and style at the heart.