Tech Tuesday: IKEA furniture that charges your phone

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Would you think this is an ordinary bedside table? Think again. Ikea.com
Would you think this is an ordinary bedside table? Think again. Ikea.com

IKEA’s new wireless charging furniture arrive in Dublin

We have heard the tech stories in the last year about how wireless phone charging was coming. But we didn’t expect stalwart of cheap and cheerful home furnishings to be leading the way and so soon… and so affordably!

Ikea have announced their range of wireless chargers, including bedside tables, lamps and pads.


From The Ikea.com Homepage.
From the Ikea.com Homepage.

With prices starting from just €35 for a single desktop pad (made from IKEA’s signature plain timber of course), and upwards to €60 for a bedside table or €100 for an elegant standing floor lamp with charger shelf.

How it works. IKEA's wireless charging furniture
How it works. IKEA’s wireless charging furniture

How does it work?

The pads are very simple. Just plug them in and go. You can leave them on your kitchen counter, a home office desk or any other surface. Then just pop your wireless enabled phone on top and away it goes.

Then there are the built-in furniture units. These include two different bedside table designs and three different lamps – a work desk lamp, a table lampshade and a floor lamp.

Finally there are separate wireless charging insert units that can be added to any piece of furniture or place in your house. These would be suitable for a custom-fitted desk for example, fitted much like a cable-hole for a computer.

What’s the catch?

However, it’s not so simple as plonking down any old phone and watching it charge without wires. Your phone must be QI wireless enabled. But as this is only fledgling technology – and not yet convinced every manufacturer of its necessity – there are still only a few brands who have built this into their phones.

As far as we can see – from this excellent list from QInside here – the major mainstream phones to have QI integrated are: the Samsung S6 and S6 Edge, the Sony Xperia, a range of Nokia Lumia, some HTCs and some Blackberrys (who has one of those any more?).

Some of the currently available QI wireless charging enabled phones.
Some of the currently available QI wireless charging enabled phones. Photos via qinside.biz

Do you spot anything missing from that list? I [don’t] spy something beginning with i…

iPhones Battery (Charging) Not Included
iPhones Battery (Charging) Not Included. Photos via qinside.biz

That’s right. None of the iPhones range, not even the new feature-packed iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, have decided to include QI wireless technology yet (or will they ever?).

This might be the biggest downside to the takeoff of wireless charging, and IKEA swift foray into the market.

IKEA have thought of this however. Along with the tables and charging pads, IKEA have announced wireless phone covers for the iPhone range. You just slot your phone into the case and leave it on your charger.

IKEA Wireless Phone Covers - Image via Ikea.com
IKEA Wireless Phone Covers – Image via Ikea.com

But is fiddling your phone in and out of a big case really easier than just plugging in the tiny charge cable? Or will you really want to carry around your sleek phone in a not so sleek and rather plain IKEA iPhone case.

[Inexplicably when you click on Wireless Phone Covers on the Irish IKEA site, it lists zero products, so seemingly the cases are unavailable just yet.]

One other work-around is to buy this – the IQI – a cheap, slim add-on to your iPhone that slides inside your own case of your choosing and allows your iPhone to charge wirelessly.


 

Anti-Apples Abound!

Photos via IKEA.com
Photos via IKEA.com

But if you live in a Mac-phobic house and you are happy to wax lyrically why your Samsung is superior to the iPhone 6s, then these IKEA products are really snazzy and well designed as always.

They’d look great in your home and be a real talking point when friends come around and want to borrow a charger!

Check out IKEA’s wireless charging range here or visit their Dublin store in Ballymun.