Getting caught with a dead smartphone could soon be a thing of the past as Swedish furniture maker Ikea will soon launch a line of desks, lamps and bedside tables that will wirelessly charge mobile devices.
Next month, Ikea says it will launch a line of furniture that comes embedded with Qi technology, the world's leading method for transferring electrical power without wires. More than 80 smartphones on the market today work with Qi technology, which allows users to charge their devices just by resting them on a Qi-enabled pad, with no need for wires.
Consumers have been able to buy their own wireless charging pads to charge their devices for several years, but Ikea's move marks the biggest one by a major retailer to embed the technology in people's lives. At the moment, there are only about 3,000 hotels, restaurants, airports and public locations worldwide, but 15 car models also come equipped with the technology.
But Ikea's move could be a sign of things to come as the successful chain is a bellwether that other stores often try to follow.
"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," Ikea spokesman Bjorn Block said.
Ikea says its Home Spot line of furniture will be available in Europe and North America in April, with a global rollout following soon after that.