Swedish furniture giants IKEA announced at the MWC in Barcelona their new range of wireless charging technology built directly into home furnishings, effectively turning bedside tables, lamps and desks into charging spots..When can we expect this technology? The Ikea website states it will be offered in store and online mid April 2015.
Wireless charging technology built directly into home furnishings may be new, but Wireless Charging Technology, or Inductive charging, is not a new technology. A big step in wireless charging came in August 2009 when a consortium of interested companies called the Wireless Power Consortium announced they were nearing completion for a new industry standard for low-power Inductive charging called Qi. Qi, pronounced "chee", is from the Chinese symbol meaning energy flow and designed to provide energy to devices through magnetic induction.
What is Wireless charging? Wireless charing is a electromagnetic field that transfers energy between two objects. Wireless charging provides a number of advantages including, efficiency, cost and safety and ensures reliable transfer of power to small electronic devices (including tables and smartphones) for a more convenient way to charge these devices.
Today, the Wireless Power Consortium has 212 WPC members, including Verizon, Nokia, and LG and some of the leading makers of mobile phones, consumer electronics, batteries, semiconductors, components, wireless power technology and infrastructure such as wireless operators, furniture and automotive parts.
I suspect many more products and innovations will be forthcoming in the future featuring this convenient and efficient technology.