Ikea Is Coming Out With Furniture That Can Wirelessly Charge Devices

Customers at Ikea will soon be able to purchase furniture equipped with pads that charge mobile devices.

The Home Smart line was presented at the 2015 Mobile World Congress, the BBC reports, and it will provide wireless charging surfaces on night tables, coffee tables and lamps.

More than 80 devices, including the brand new Samsung Galaxy S6, are compatible with what is known as "Qi" technology, but the iPhone is not, so Ikea will additionally sell cases allowing such phones to charge on its products.

The furniture will need to be plugged into a power source to charge and costs about $22 more than a standard item.

Exactly how long it takes to charge a phone compared to a wire charger is not clear.

According to Mashable, Ikea will also soon unveil Qi pads that can be attached to current products for $34.

Environmental group Friends of the Earth told the BBC it hopes the invention will take into account the difficulty of recycling tech products.

Julian Kirby, resource use campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said,

A key principle that manufacturers of furniture with built-in wireless charging technology should consider is that the furniture is designed to be easy to disassemble for upgrade, reuse, repair or recycling. Disposable electric toothbrushes are one example of a terrible product design in those respects - it's virtually impossible to separate out the tech from the batteries and plastic casing which means valuable and often toxic materials are dumped in landfill or burnt in incinerators.

Qi is available in hotels, restaurants, airports and Starbucks branches all over the country.

Its incorporation into the Swedish furniture company could bring the technology into millions of homes and offices, gradually eclipsing the need for traditional wire chargers.

The Home Smart line will be released in North America in April of this year.

Citations: Ikea unveils phone charging furniture at MWC (BBC), IKEA furniture will soon be able to wirelessly charge your mobile device (Mashable)