Long time subscribers of our content that includes our International CES coverage know that we're huge fans of the Qi wireless power standard, headed by the Wireless Power Consortium. For several years now, Qi has been implemented into phones, giving wireless charging capabilities to those devices. However its vision was to expand to common appliances, hardware and other applications in a household or business setting. Because of this, we've been waiting to see when major retailers would pick up the idea and place it into their own offerings. And while we've seen some companies serve up some Qi, it is with great excitement and happiness that I tell you that IKEA will be launching a full line of Qi-powered desks and furniture coming next month!
Beginning April 15, IKEA will be selling tables, work desks, nightstands, complete with Qi from the WPC. The company will be offering these products to European and North American stores for now.
This decision from the biggest furniture manufacturer is a pretty bold move. First, it puts IKEA on the leading edge of technology and innovation. Not many companies are currently offering tech-infused solutions into business and work furniture and this makes IKEA stand out even more, Swedish meatballs aside. Second, a nod from a company like IKEA proves that businesses see the need to carry this type of product for the consumer. Some of the items we talk about at CES are just vaporware - ideas and products that never make it to market for one reason or another. However with Qi, we're now seeing real-world application of the technology in dozens of different environments and use cases. Additionally, IKEA choosing Qi over the competition means that companies solidly believe in the WPC, instead of some of the other standards out there right now that are also powered by big name companies like Samsung and Qualcomm.
Now all we need to see is food chains switch from the other standards to Qi and we'd have a match made in heaven, especially if those brands grab their hardware from IKEA. IKEA has also announced that it will be selling a standalone kit that will bring wireless power to furniture that does not already have the feature. The company will be offering one or two full collections in their massive showrooms each year, with the idea to bring 10 total collections to their lineup in a few years.