Buy furniture with a preinstalled Qi wireless charger helps minimize loose, floating cables, but it also means you can’t choose where you place your devices to charge them. With the new one from Ikea self-installed SjÃ¶mÃ¤rke charger, you can add wireless charging to almost any table and position it exactly where you need it.
In addition to digital clocks and other basic appliances, Ikea has increasingly embarked on affordable home electronics over the past decade. It all started with a collection of excellent Ikea brand rechargeable batteries (which many believe to be Relabelled Panasonic Eneloop batteries), but the Swedish furniture maker has also released smart home accessories like wireless light bulbs and switches, a partnership with Sonos for Ikea speakers, tables that fill your house with music, air purifiers disguised as side tables, and many ways to wirelessly charge Qi-enabled devices.
In 2015, Ikea released its first wireless charging upgrade kit, the Jyssen charger at $ 30, who could be used to add a charging cradle to tables, counters, and desks, but that assumed you had enough skill to use an included hole saw to punch a sizeable hole in the cabinet you were upgrading. The upgrade was also effective irreversible, like most drilled holes.
Ikea’s new SjÃ¶mÃ¤rke charger seems like a much better option. It replaces the drill holes with easy to apply adhesive stickers and some installation limitations. We were promised wireless charging that works in a room, but it’s not there yet, and the Qi standard has a much shorter range. As a result, while the SjÃ¶mÃ¤rke charger can be easily stuck under flat furniture like a desk or table, the surface cannot be metal (the deadly enemy of wireless charging) and Ikea recommends the material should be between 3/8 and 7/8 an inch thick.
The limitations actually mean that the $ 40 SjÃ¶mÃ¤rke charger isn’t compatible with a lot of Ikea’s furniture, including its popular Lagkapten office furniture system. And although that means you don’t have to connect a wire charger to your smartphone, tablet or wireless headset, you will still need to route and hide a wire from the charging cradle itself to a power outlet. We’re not technically wireless yet, we’ve just moved them slightly out of sight.