A new line of furniture devised by the Swedish company IKEA will support wireless charging of newer smartphone devices. The collection will include tables, lamps, desks, and a variety of other offerings with an embedded wireless cell phone charger. The same charging pad used in the furniture will be sold separately and can be attached to any flat surface to offer the same benefits.
The technology relies on the generation of a magnetic field by a transmitter. A receiver in your phone catches voltage from the field, and charges through a process called energy induction transfer. Most smartphones are already standardized with the required Qi wireless charging capabilities, including Apple’s newest iPhones. For a full list of compatible smartphones, click here.
Like most innovative technologies hungry to enter the mainstream, wireless charging technology is not new. It’s been used since the early 1990s. Check out this brief explanation of wireless charging, how it began, and how a wireless cell phone charger works:
The speaker notes that in the near future, the technology will increase its range. One day, simply standing in a room with a transmitter in it will enable wireless charging of the phone in your pocket.
Will IKEA’s furniture make life easier?
Similar technology is also being used by smartphone provider Nokia, but currently supports only two models. The Nokia Wireless Charging Plate glows in the dark, and even lights up as you receive incoming messages. The technology, however, is rolling out slowly, just as wireless internet did. Clearly, we expect an influx of new devices in the next few years.
IKEA suggests their new wireless cell phone charger will make life at home a whole lot easier, and although we imagine businesses will pounce on the new technology, we can also envision the number of people with lost smartphones skyrocketing in the near future. It’s already too easy to set down a phone and forget about it. What do you think? Will we get lazier and more forgetful because of expanded wireless charging capabilities?