Innovation That Matters

Furniture surface wirelessly charges mobile devices


That mobile phone charging is a universal nuisance is underscored by all the many efforts we’ve seen to alleviate the pain, including harnessing the wind, the sun, bicycles, dancers and foot pumps to make it easier. With similar intentions, Finnish Powerkiss has developed an approach that imbues everyday furniture with wireless charging capabilities. Powerkiss’s technology consists of two parts: a charging transmitter that gets integrated into furniture, and a charging receiver that gets plugged into the electronic device. To charge a phone, users simply attach the small receiver stick to their phone and place it on the surface of the enabled object. The proximity allows the resonating coils in each of the two parts to work together to charge the phone. Powerkiss’s charging packages have already been integrated into a meeting room table and a coffee table from Finnish Martela; the technology is also available for public use in Café Alvar A and the Via Lounge at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Though currently limited to mobile phone charging, laptops and other devices will eventually be supported as well, Powerkiss says. Ultimately, Powerkiss hopes cellphone manufacturers will begin enabling their handsets with wireless charging capabilities, which would eliminate the need for the plug-in receiver. Towards that end, it seeks partners in the mobile technology world as well as those in interior architecture, vehicle design and—of course—furniture. Who will be the first on your block to release customers from the charging-cord shackles? Spotted by: John Greene



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