Ikea brings wireless smartphone charging to its furniture to defeat 'cable mess'

Sweden's Ikea has released furniture with Qi standard wireless charging to do away with those smartphone cables.

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Ikea's Qi wireless charging furniture. Image: Wireless Power Consortium

Swedish furniture giant Ikea will release a range of products that integrate wireless charging into home furnishing.

If you're sick of unsightly power cords cluttering up the house, Ikea has you covered with new furniture for the home that can wirelessly charge your smartphone. The range includes bedside tables, lamps, and desks that support Qi wireless charging standards, developed by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC).

Ikea also offers a range of wireless charging pads in wood and plastic finishes that fit the company's design standards and which are shaped to fit with Ikea's cable management boxes. The Qi-enabled bedside tables are called the "Selje" and "Nordli", while the Qi pads are called "Nordmärke".

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Ikea explained in a blog post on the WPM's website that the wireless pads will include a plus sign to indicate where users will need to place their device in order to charge them. The pads also include an additional USB port allowing another device to be charged on the pad.

While there are a few different wireless charging standards in use today, Qi is widely supported in popular devices from Samsung, Nokia, HTC, and LG.

Samsung's latest flagship device, the Galaxy S6, supports both Qi and the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) standards found in the Powermats at Starbucks cafes in the US. The Galaxy S6 is the first smartphone to support both standards, thanks to a Broadcom chip that is available to all smartphone OEMs.

Ikea teamed up with Samsung for the launch of Qi-powered furniture, which the pair unveiled at this week's Mobile World Congress. Ikea will launch its wireless charging collection in Europe and North America in April 2015, followed by a global rollout.

"Through research and home visits, we know that people hate cable mess. They worry about not finding the charger and running out of power. Our new innovative solutions, which integrate wireless charging into home furnishings, will make life at home simpler," said Jeanette Skjelmose, Ikea's business area manager of lighting and wireless charging.

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