Furniture and household items offer wireless charging capabilities
Even though the constant access and connectivity provided by their smartphones causes them stress, young people are still attached to their digital devices and want to avoid a dead battery. The standard wall charger is being upgraded to levitating chargers and wireless chargers, including these embedded in furniture and household items.
The Sobro Side Table is more than a night stand. Accounting for the hefty $900 price tag is wireless charging capability, Bluetooth and WiFi radio played through integrated speakers, a white noise simulator to help lull users to sleep, LED lights that can be scheduled for a morning wake up, and a drawer featuring a thermoelectric refrigeration system to keep snacks or beverages cold. If the built-in technology isn’t enough, the night stand also houses connections for USB ports and standard power outlets to plug in additional tech. NYC-based Sobro also makes a smart coffee table.
The Dock E30 from British speaker brand Orbitsound features the company’s patented Airsound audio technology—spatial audio reproduction to improve the sound quality emitted from one device—and charging capability through a USB outlet and Qi wireless charging. The “dock” differs from traditional ports in that it offers a groove to rest a smartphone or tablet, but the device doesn’t need to be plugged into the speaker. Like many smart speakers, the Dock E30 can stream music via WiFi or Bluetooth, connect with Spotify and TuneIn, and is multi-room compatible.
South Korean designstudio PESI designed a range of furniture and housewares that feature wireless charging capability as part of Samsung Electronics’ startup incubation program Creative Square. The dual-purpose household items fall into two categories: the On the Surface line adds a flat charging surface to desktop items such as a clock and a mirror and the Composition line features a tray with a charging surface, made customizable with various wood and acrylic materials, that can be used in a side table, shelf, or cabinet. PESI wanted to create a wireless charger that would feel natural to a user’s environment.