IKEA is making its debut in the high-tech gadgets business with the European roll-out of a new furniture and accessories that deliver wireless charging for devices. Wireless charging furniture seems like an odd direction for a company like IKEA, but the ubiquity of smartphones makes the demand for charging them rival the demand for other basic staples of living.
In most homes there are either too many charging cords lying around or too much competition for free wall sockets where phones can be easily charged. IKEA has come up with innovative wireless charging solutions to meet these challenges. Wireless charging has been gaining momentum and you can find devices with wireless charging capabilities or third-party cases for smartphones like the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy devices that enable you to charge your gadget simply by placing it on one of these wireless charging pads.
The furniture giant is delivering the wireless charging functionality in three different ways.
1. Furniture with Built-in Wireless Charging
It has seamlessly turned some of its home furniture products like table lamps (VARV), bedside tables (NORDLI and SELJE), and the like into wireless chargers. These hidden charging points will blend in to ensure a tidy look for most homes with no more tangles of wires hanging from sockets. The new furniture with built-in wireless charging will be available starting at $60.
2. Portable Charging Pad
To ensure consumers can charge their phones from any room of their home IKEA also developed wireless charging pads (NORDMÄRKE) equipped with single or triple active areas. These portable pads can easily blend well with any furniture, and you don’t have to specifically buy IKEA furniture to use them. The NORDMÄRKE single charging pad will be around $28 and the NORDMÄRKE triple charging pad would be available for approximately $65.
3. Add Wireless Charging to Other Furniture
IKEA has one other option for people who do not intend to buy furniture with the charging feature. With the JYSSEN wireless charger IKEA allows customers to get creative and fit the charger into any furniture of their choice. The JYSSEN charger is designed to fit easily into IKEA furniture desks (or other desks with a cord management hole).
However, people who do not own any IKEA furniture at home can also fit this charger on their own by drilling the appropriate hole. A hole-drilling saw will be sold separately by IKEA (for about $5) to help customers make the right-size hole in the furniture surface of their choice. The price of the JYSSEN wireless charger is set to be $30.
The IKEA furniture is coming to Europe first but the US seems ready to welcome such innovative products from the IKEA shelf as well. The good news for Americans is that this home wireless charging alternative would be available to them in the spring of 2015.