Ikea Launches Wireless Charging Products
Swedish homeware retailer Ikea is launching a furniture and lighting range that enables the wireless charging of handheld devices – available in UK stores and online mid-April. Although this technology isn't new, it's the first time it has been embraced by such a giant in the interior product market.
The pieces integrate an induction-charging component that enables devices to power up by simply being placed on top. The charging pads are embedded into the bases of lamps and the surface of bedside tables, with a subtle cross indicating the placement of the charging element. In addition, Ikea has also created a standalone device with three pads for charging multiple devices simultaneously, along with components that slot into desks already available from the retailer.
The pieces use wireless charging technology developed by California-based company Qi. Any device enabled with Qi technology is compatible – including smartphones by Samsung, HTC and Nokia. For devices not featuring this technology, such as iPhones, Ikea is also launching a range of covers that will enable compatibility.
The designs are neutral in style with white finishes and pale wood creating an unimposing look that would fit into a wide variety of homes. For more on designing electronics to sit subtly within the home, see our Colour, Material & Finish report from International CES 2015.
As highlighted in Design Democracy: Integrate, technology is becoming increasingly embedded into the home environment – minimising its appearance and creating a more seamless look and experience for the consumer. For another example, see Italian brand Clique, a highlight from Milan Design Week 2014.