Handheld and laptop electronics continue to proliferate, and with each addition to your collection, chargers and cords add to the chaos. Wires and cables tumble and tangle making both home and office work centers untidy and potentially dangerous as unruly cords everywhere become a definite tripping hazard. With so many different cables and chargers it is also hard to keep track of which electronic devices are charged up and ready to go.
Wireless Charging Standards
Enter wireless charging which has been through a few incarnations but is looking more viable in 2015. The industry standard Qi charging systems are now moving toward worldwide acceptance, supported by the work of the Wireless Power Consortium. Calling it wireless is a bit disingenuous as the charging base is still connected to a power source, but the device to be charged does not need to be attached via a micro USB. It merely needs to be placed on the base and charging will commence. The device does need to support the Qi charging method, but if your smart phone does not have the technology integrated there are inexpensive aftermarket adapters available to make wireless charging work.
Wireless Charging-Ready Furniture
Swedish furniture leader Ikea is introducing a line of furniture that integrates the Qi standard wireless charging technology to make charging at least smartphones dead simple. The possibilities include bedside tables and desks that include the charger on the surface, with a “+” clearly making the spot where the charge will be effective.
Wireless Charging-Ready Accessories
Ikea is also offering a line of floor and table lamps that have the Qi charging built right in. This way you can make less of a commitment to changing your decor while still reaping the benefits of this innovative new approach. The base of the lamps contain the charging sweet spot, again identified with a “+” mark, and the floor lamps also double as small tables with room for your smart phone and other essential items.
Ikea also offers a variety of free standing pads in sleek styles that use wood and plastic finishes if you are not in the market for furniture or lighting. You also can retrofit existing furniture with charging pads kits available from the Swedish DIY furniture company. The freestanding pads have a USB port that allows you to charge a second device with a traditional cable at the same time as you are charging a phone by dropping it on the surface.
Other Wireless Charging Technology
The Power Matters Alliance (PMA) standards are being used to make wireless changing available through their Powermats found in some Starbucks. The Powermat technology has been available for some time and continues to evolve. Again the devices you want to charge must be equipped with receptors that permit the charging, often provided by special cases or rings inserted into the case.
Frequent recharging throughout the day as envisioned by these wireless technologies is actually believed to be the most efficient, effective and least harmful way to charge today’s lithium batteries. Keeping your phone between 50 and 80 percent power is what to aim for, perfect for those who will be dropping their phone on a charging pad multiple times a day.