Even in a world where wireless technology has become the norm, most of us still find ourselves entangled in a mess of cables, cords and chargers. That may soon change for lovers of Swedish furniture requiring assembly.
IKEA has announced that they will be selling a line of furniture with built-in wireless chargers. This means you will no longer have to worry about waking up to a dead battery when you forget to plug your phone in at night. The wireless charger in your nightstand will take care of it for you.
Wireless charging uses a magnetic field from a base station to transmit power to a receiver in your phone or other compatible electronic device. Although the technology has been around for several years, it has not yet taken off on a large scale. However, with IKEA’s announcement as well as Samsung’s decision to include wireless charging technology in their Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones, this is certain to change in the near future, .
This all sounds like a great convenience, but there are some drawbacks.
First, you will need to own a device that is capable of being charged wirelessly. Not all are. In lieu of this, you can opt for a case or replacement back panel that will add wireless charging to your smartphone, but your device must be capable of actually using the technology.
Another consideration is that, at the moment, there is no single standard. At this time there are two wireless charging options: Qi and Duracell’s Power Matters Alliance (PMA). If you have a device that uses Qi wireless charging, it will be incompatible with a charging station that runs on Duracell’s Powermat. The market has yet to decide which technology will emerge as dominant. Choose incorrectly and you may end up having to replace it with the other option later. (Shades of VHS/Betamax.)
The IKEA collection will include a selection of lamps as well as nightstands, tables and desks. Their wireless chargers will use the Qi standard, so if you plan to purchase one of the Swedish charging stations, you will want to make sure your device is Qi compatible or get a back panel or case that is.
The furniture collection is expected to be available in North America by mid-April. As always, some assembly will be required, but installing the wireless charging pad will only require a few extra screws.