Just in time for Samsung’s Galaxy S6 inclusion of inductive charging, Ikea has now done its part to bring wireless charging to the mainstream. The furniture seller has announced its plans to include Qi -- the Wireless Power Consortium cordless charging solution -- to its furniture. That means instead of having a large console where you can place gadgets, you can simply place them on said furniture to restore power.
“We could see the technology arrive in many form factors, like arm chairs [for example],” states Ryan Sanderson. Sanderson works as the Air Charge Chair Infrastructure Application Group for the Wireless Power Consortium.
Air Charge is another charging solution without wires that makes use of Qi. Now Ikea, a member of the WPC, can say the same. At the moment Ikea’s selection is limited to lamps and bedside tables, but we could see more creative implementations on the way.
Ikea's powered furniture is slated to hit stores this April.
The launch of the Samsung Galaxy S6 does a great deal in getting consumers aware of the possibilities of cordless charging. Built in by default, Samsung’s latest phone can make use of both Qi and Power Matters Alliance’s standard. As the two major inductive charging standards, the South Korean phone company will support most all chargers. Including Ikea’s line of lamps and bedside tables.
Other smartphones like Nexus 4 and 5 contain built in inductive charging as well.
“[Inductive charging] is always going to be less efficient than the cable. A cable isn’t 100 percent efficient either," Sanderson continued. "There's a loss with inductive charging, obviously there’s an air gap. Since there’s not a wired connection between the two coils. The Qi spec is around 85 percent efficient, so getting very close to a wire.”
WPC’s Sanderson went on to call 2015 the year of wireless charging.
“The fact that wireless charging has been built into a flagship handset is a real victory,” he said talking about Samsung’s Galaxy S6. “It’s really going to drive adoption and awareness. You saw how Samsung announced [the phone]. It wasn’t a ‘Here’s a list of features and then down at number 10 is wireless charging’, it was one of their main focus points.”
Samsung isn’t the only major product that will use inductive charging in 2015. The Apple Watch will also (presumably) make use of the technique to provide a magnetic charging solution.
When asked about the possibility of a WPC/Ikea team up to bring Apple’s wearable power via furniture Ryan said there are too many unknowns.
“Well we haven’t seen the watch yet. In that, we don’t know what standard it uses. It could use Qi but maybe their own proprietary solution,” he said.
Will you be buying some of Ikea’s wireless charging furniture? Prefer the tried and true cord? Sound off below in the comments!