If you use a wireless charger, chances are you keep it on a desk or bedside table. IKEA now has an alternative though: furniture with a charging pad built-in.
The range will include tables, desks and lamps. The charging pad is built into the top of the table or desk, and into either the base of a desktop lamp, or into a shelf put halfway down the stem of a standing lamp. While IKEA hasn’t made any promises, the design suggests you might stand a slightly better chance of avoiding disaster if you knock over a drink on the tabletops as compared with doing so next to a standalone charger.
You’ll still need to connect to a power outlet of course, though that should be more convenient than with standalone chargers. With the lamps, the power connection is built into the same cable that powers the bulb. With the tables and desks it appears the power cable comes out of the base, so you don’t have to worry about trailing wires so much. You’re also less likely to accidentally knock the charging pad out of position as you reach across the table, something that you often only find out about when you pick up your wireless device the next morning to find a still-low battery.
It comes at a price. Furniture with the charging pad built in will cost an extra €20 (approx US$22) compared to the same item without. You can also buy a wireless charging kit to put into some existing IKEA furniture for €30 (US$33). Despite the IKEA ethos, in both cases, the charging section comes ready-assembled so no electronic knowledge or skill is needed.
The chargers use the Qi standard, so it will work with most Android-based devices that have a built-in wireless charging receiver. For other devices, including Apple gadgets, you’ll need an adapter.
Not everyone is a fan though. Environmental pressure group Friends of the Earth told the BBC it was concerned about the difficulty of separating the electrical components from the wood and other materials as and when the furniture is disposed of for recycling.
(Image credit: IKEA via Newsweek)