Wireless charging furniture design: IKEA
All photos courtesy of IKEA
In today’s hi-tech world, charging phones is the 21st-century modern chore, the constant item on every to-do list, the task required to ensure that conversations are not cut off and that people are able to connect. It comes with tangled wires, misplaced chargers and random nuisances when the task is overlooked.
Following on what seems a particularly inspired idea, IKEA has decided to make the task easier by building furniture and accessories with integrated inductive charging spots. That means no more wires, no more looking for chargers, no more forgetting to plug the phone in.
For those who love the modern, minimalist IKEA pieces, this is good news. The inductive chargers are integrated seamlessly into the furniture, while the charging pads are no more conspicuous than a coaster and require minimal effort to use. This is multifunctional furniture at its best.
However, there are a few issues with this innovative attempt to mix furniture and technology. First, there are no universal wireless charging standards. Between Qi standards (used by LG phones and Nexus6 among others), those advanced by the PMA (supported by Duracell and recently AT&T) and the fact that the iPhone does not even have the built-in capabilities for wireless inductive charging, the undertaking is more complex than it looks at first sight. So far, IKEA took the Qi path, using this method to power its nightstands, desks and lamps.
Then, there is the issue of furniture longevity. If the technology becomes obsolete or the charger ceases to function, the furniture may lose its futuristic appeal. However, the potential buyers are probably more interested in the charging features rather than in turning these pieces into family heirlooms. The way this wireless charging furniture simplifies their life now may well be worth the investment.
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