Think IKEA and you think of a weekend spent touring the store, navigating other couples who are as equally stressed, annoyed and argumentative as you and your wife or girlfriend are. You’ve probably experienced the 14 mile walk around the predefined pathway around the store. You may have measured a cupboard, scribbled down some figures with a free pencil, then shouted some foul language after finding that the cupboard is out of stock. Oh, and after all that, you buy some bizarre bamboo plant which doesn’t fit in your car.
After coming home, having an argument about the stupid bamboo plant, going back again the next day, circumnavigating the store, getting the cupboard, shoving it in your car, driving home in first gear with your head pressed up against the dash because the cupboard is jammed in your face; you have yet another argument and end up with some cobbled-together mess which stays up thanks to far too much super glue.
To sum up then, IKEA are doing furniture with wireless charging pads in them. It’s all about furniture in fashion and adding some cool tech to it too. Samsung, who announced their S6 and S6 edge handsets on Sunday (when I was perhaps more sane and had grabbed more than 2 hours sleep), have said that you can use their new devices with this special IKEA furniture, so slap your shiny new Samsung onto your Flaofuda lamp (or whatever crazy name they give it) and you’ll charge your battery without wires…. except for the wire in the lamp. You’ll need that one.
What I’d like to suggest, at this point, is that the cookies in the media centre here in Barcelona are quite clearly NOT enough to stop me going slightly insane due to hunger.
Press release gubbins below.
New IKEA Collection Blends Style with Qi Wireless Charging Functionality
IKEA’s home furnishings embed charging spots and propel Qi further into mainstream adoption
BARCELONA, Spain, March 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Global home furnishings retailer IKEA today announced a product launch of Qi-powered bedside tables, lamps and desks that eliminates cable mess and makes it easier to stay connected with always-charged mobile devices.
IKEA said the wireless charging home furnishings will be available in Europe and North America this April, followed by a global rollout. The announcement girds support for Qi – the leading global wireless charging standard from the Wireless Power Consortium.
“IKEA is delivering on its vision of making life at home better with this innovative, stylish and useful new collection that show consumers the beauty and simplicity of wireless charging,” said Menno Treffers, WPC chairman. “We applaud IKEA for its unmatched insight and their unique passion for making wireless charging affordable and simple for consumers.”
Qi is the most widely deployed wireless power standard, available in 3,000 hotels, restaurants, airports and public locations worldwide. There are now more than 80 Qi-enabled smartphones, 15 models of Qi-enabled cars and countless Qi mobile accessories in the market today.
“Our belief is that mobile phones are vital parts to people’s lives at home and their desire to stay connected, and Qi addresses an unmet need to keep devices powered,” said Bjorn Block, Range Manager for Lighting and Wireless Charging, at IKEA. “As a member of WPC, we value the access to the leading and most advanced global standard for wireless charging.”
During Mobile World Congress, WPC will showcase the latest Qi-enabled products at booth 5C41, Hall 5.
About the Wireless Power Consortium and Qi
Established in 2008, the Wireless Power Consortium is an open, collaborative standards development group of more than 200 company members. WPC’s members include Belkin, ConvenientPower, Delphi, Freescale, Haier, HTC, IKEA, LG, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, PowerbyProxi, Royal Philips, Samsung, Sony, TDK, Texas Instruments, Verizon Wireless and ZTE. These companies — large and small competitors and ecosystem partners, from all parts of the industry and all parts of the globe — collaborate for a single purpose: to design and evolve the world’s most useful, safe and efficient standard for wireless power. This global standard is called Qi, and it has become the world’s leading method for transferring electrical power without wires. Qi is designed into 80+ mobile devices, 15 models of cars, has more than 700 registered products that are enjoyed by more than 50 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.wirelesspowerconsortium.com.