Wireless phone-charging furniture unveiled

Furniture giant Ikea unveiled a collection of furniture fitted with wireless charging technology for mobile devices at the Mobile World Congress technology show in Barcelona.

The Home Start range will include tables, desks and lamps as well as pads to add a charging point to any surface and will go on sale online and in store in mid-April.

“With smartphones being such a natural part of our lives, we want the charging part to become a natural part of our homes,” the Swedish company said on its website.

Ikea teamed up with the Wireless Power Consortium to use the wireless charging standard QI, utilised by many smartphone manufacturers like LG, Samsung or Google Nexus.

However, wireless charging is a two-standard industry, which complicates matters for smart devices users. The other, backed by Power Matters Alliance, is not compatible with QI, used by Lenovo and Huawei.

“Through research and home visits, we know that people hate cable mess,” Jeanette Skjelmose, head of lighting and wireless charging at Ikea, said. “They worry about not finding the charger and running out of power.”

The new Samsung Galaxy S6 comes with support for both, but others do not, which prompted Ikea's charging pad which can be used on any surface and will be compatible with other devices.

Ikea said its new products mean users need fewer chargers and can be less energy-hungry.

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