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wireless charging

Everyone's favorite build-your-own furniture store IKEA has just announced a partnership to start integrating Qi charging for devices into some of its furniture. Starting in April 2015, IKEA will offer bedside tables, lamps and desks with Qi charging built in, meaning you won't need to drop any extra cables or charging bases to keep your phones topped up.

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The new Qi v1.2 specification will enable wireless charging through even greater spans than before. The current Qi standard is capable of blasting power wirelessly through up to 7mm of space, but the new standard amps that up to 45mm (1.77 inches). This will make it much easier to embed Qi chargers inside of things (like desks, tables, cars, blocks of cheese, etc).

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Microsoft has published a cool new video looking at wireless charging on the Lumia 930. It's an advanced feature of the latest Lumia flagship Windows Phone, which Microsoft is pushing hard with free bundled charging plates with Lumia 930 purchases. This promotion gets consumers started with wireless charging without the need to purchase optional accessories.

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Juiced Wireless Charger Pad review

Microsoft Surface owners might remember Juiced Systems as the seller of the super useful Surface Adapters, which squeeze a bunch of extra functionality out of the Surface tablets' single USB ports. Juiced sells a variety of unique USB hubs for mobile devices. All very good, but our Windows Phones can't use 'em.

Still, owners of certain Windows Phones like the Lumia 920 or those with the wireless charging cover can certainly benefit from the Juiced Wireless Charger Pad. The pad is tiny and ultrathin, providing a stylish and affordable way to pump power into phones that support Qi wireless charging. It draws that power from a micro-USB cable, providing a clear advantage over Nokia's Wireless Charging Plate.

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Wireless charging for your smartphone is a more convenient way to add juice to the battery, but how awesome would it be for this to occur while the phone is in a pocket? Microsoft Mobile has teamed up with British designer A. Sauvage to come up with luxury pants (or trousers for us here in the UK) that also charge a compatible smartphone. The product is no mere concept – however – and will be available for pre-order on Amazon soon.

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Taking wireless charging to the next level, 100,000 Powermat spots are to be deployed in participating Starbucks and Teavana tea bars. Duracell today announced alongside Starbucks that the rollout will commence in the San Francisco Bay area, expanding Powermat to additional markets next year with full nationwide coverage planned over time at supporting establishments.

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The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) is announcing an expansion of its current Rezence wireless charging specification that will offer up to 50 watts of power in the future — allowing charging of multiple devices, including laptops and tablets, with a single charger. With upgrades to the base spec expected to be finalized by the end of 2014, A4WP will have Rezence capable of powering laptops, tablets and other consumer electronics with different power requirements.

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Broadcom has announced a new wireless charging chip that aims to simplify wireless charging by combining all three current standards onto a single chip. The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), and the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP - of which Broadcom is a member) all have their own standards, though the PMA and A4WP have recently agreed to merge.

While the WPC's Qi standard has found its way into many products, it faces some challenges. For instance, though Nokia includes Qi charging in its phones, models bound for AT&T in the U.S. use the PMA standard, thanks to the carrier's partnership with the Alliance. This is set to change with Broadcom's new chip.

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Glowdeck, a new Bluetooth speaker with built-in wireless charging, is set for release later this year. It's no ordinary speaker though as it will not only stream your music through a pair of high-quality stereo speakers — but it will also charge your Qi-compatible device just by setting it down on top of the speaker. But the fun doesn't even stop there — Glowdeck will also show all of your notifications in Streams on the bottom of the speaker's display, while your phone is charging.

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For those who want to add a little bit of luxury to their smartphone, Orée has created a wireless charging block that's fashioned out of a single block of wood or marble and integrates a speaker and microphone for speakerphone calls. For a Kickstarter pledge starting at $200, the Orée Pebble 2 is an elegantly designed cylinder that sits on your desk and bedside stand so you can merely set a smartphone with Qi wireless charging technology on top of the Pebble 2 and it will begin charging without requiring any wires.

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Nokia's DT-900 wireless charging pad is no stranger to the deals corner and it's back once again. This time out if you head on over to Tanga, you'll be able to pick one up for $14.99 plus shipping to anywhere in the mainland U.S. It doesn't say which color you'll be getting, though the pictures on the site at least show black and white. So maybe it's pot luck.

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Qi wireless charging is heavily supported with Windows Phone, especially since Nokia utilises the technology in most of its premium Lumia smartphones. Today, the Wireless Power Consortium announced that both Microsoft and Samsung Electro-Mechanics (a subsidy of Samsung) have joined the board.

This board drives Qi's adoption across mobile hardware and other technologies and the move for Microsoft makes sense as the company prepares to take Nokia's hardware division.

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