Ikea to sell furniture with built-in wireless charging

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Ikea will sell both furniture with wireless charging built-in, and accessories that can be added to existing furniture

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Starting next month, Swedish furniture colossus Ikea will start selling furniture with built-in Qi wireless charging and a charging kit to build wireless charging into existing furniture.

While Qi is not the only wireless charging standard out there (and in fact might be an underdog to standards from main competing organizations A4WP and PMA, which have recently joined forces), it features in a wide range of cars and accessories. Qi’s greatest strength, though, is that it is supported by a growing list of smartphones (including Samsung’s latest).

Targeting convenient wireless charging of your smartphone at home, Ikea has now simultaneously joined the Wireless Power Consurtium (WPC), the organization in charge of the Qi standard, and announced a new line of Qi-powered bedside tables, lamps and desks.

The Qi standard is designed to charge devices at a distance of up to 4 cm (1.6 in), which means the phone will have to be placed in a specific spot marked by a "plus" sign. Although the current Qi specifications are geared toward low-power devices, the WPC is already working on the technology that could one day feed up to 2,000 Watts wirelessly, which would be ideal for kitchen appliances and a potential valuable addition to the Ikea catalog, assuming that the energy transfer is not too wasteful.

All wireless chargers come with a USB outlet that can be used to charge an additional device, and Ikea has said it will also offer a wireless charging kit that you can use to build wireless charging into existing furniture.

Furniture with built-in wireless charging will sell for an extra EUR 20 (US$22.45) and be available in Europe and North America starting next month, with plans for a global rollout later on. Prices for the wireless charging kits to convert existing furniture will start at EUR 30 (US$ 33.70).

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