The rise of wireless charging furniture

By Steve Jarratt, Technology Writer

All of the leading smartphone manufacturers offer devices with Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) wireless charging built-in – it’s the accepted technology standard around the world.

In fact, the technology is now so mainstream, it’s hardly surprising to see Qi Wireless charging solutions getting integrated into different types of furniture. There are dozens of manufacturers offering a variety of products – even IKEA has a range of device charging furniture and accessories.

This is because modern wireless chargers can be fitted to any accessible flat surface. So, a guest room desk can become a wireless charging desk, a coffee table becomes a wireless charging table, and so on. The technology can be added to nightstands, lamps, even chair arms, as well as being incorporated into lobby countertops, restaurant tables, and meeting rooms.

The benefits of wireless charging are numerous. First of all, Qi is a ubiquitous global standard. So, it doesn’t matter which brand of phone your guests use - Apple, Samsung, Sony, Huawei... They are all supported and can all use a Qi-certified wireless charger pad. See our Wireless Charging Guide for more information.

The advantages of wireless charging pads

Secondly, wireless charging is hugely convenient. You simply lay your device down on the pad and electromagnetic induction provides the power. There’s no need for travelers to pack a nest of cables and adapters for their various devices, nor does the hotel have to provide cords which are easily worn out and broken. The lack of trailing cables also means no more gadgets catapulted across the room by excitable kids, or guests being tripped up and potentially hurting themselves.

In addition, dedicated wireless chargers are sealed units, so they are easier to clean and disinfect – something that is increasingly important in a post-Covid world. There are no open ports to corrode or become affected by moisture, so there are fewer risks of electrical faults. While units are more resistant to general wear and spillages (although they’re not entirely waterproof). With no moving parts and a durable form factor, there’s no reason why hotels shouldn’t get a long working life from a robust Qi charging pad.

Wireless charging furniture for hotels

All these benefits – robust, hygienic and largely maintenance-free – make tabletop charging pads an ideal value-add for the hospitality industry. 

The Brandstand Cubiedot can turn an ordinary desk into a wireless charging desk.
The Brandstand Cubiedot (above) can turn an ordinary desk into a wireless charging desk.

“Hotels are already jumping on board,” says [1]. “Wireless charging has been installed in a number of Accor hotels across Europe. Marriott hotels have also installed wireless charging stations in lobbies in the US and many of its hotel rooms have clocks with wireless charging… Just as free Wi-Fi has become an expectation, wireless charging will be regarded as an essential hotel extra in the very near future.”

The best wireless charging solutions 

The good news is that it’s not difficult (or expensive) to add wireless charging stations to furniture. You can, for example, opt for a standalone charging pad like the Brandstand CubieDot, a Qi Wireless charging pad with a 4-inch diameter. This enables you to instantly and cost-effectively turn any accessible flat surface into a useful guest charging point. You’ll just need to secure and conceal the pad’s mains cable.

For a more discreet (and permanent) solution, the Brandstand CubieSpot is designed to sit flush in a flat surface. All that’s required to fit the device is a 3.25-inch circular hole and a surface that is between 0.25 and 1.75 inches thick. The end result is much neater than a standalone charging solution, as well as being less prone to damage or equipment theft.

The retro-fit argument for wireless charging

With the CubieSpot, you could realistically embed Qi Wireless charging functionality into a wide range of furniture without buying anything new. While side tables and desks are the most obvious candidates, you can already buy a chest of drawers, table lamps and even a bed frame with wireless charging pockets built-in [2].

Alternatively, Brandstand also sells versions of its popular multifunction alarm clocks with integrated Qi Wireless charging. The CubieDuo+ (US/UK/EU) combines Qi Wireless charging with fast charge USB ports. The CubieTrio+ (US only) offers the same Qi and fast charge USB options, but adds a pair of 110V tamper-resistant power outlets for the ultimate in charging convenience.

Designed for use on a nightstand or desk, both the CubieDuo+ and CubieTrio+ feature an easy-to-use alarm clock system and Bluetooth speaker, providing multiple solutions in one neat, handsome unit.

Looking beyond hotel use

It’s not just hotels that can benefit from the addition of wireless charging pads either. They can be installed in any public area where people congregate. This provides a useful opportunity to top up mobile devices while people sit around, having a drink in a bar or waiting for transfers at an airport. 

You might even consider adding them to a reception desk for both visitors and staff to use, or installing them in restaurant tables, so guests’ devices are charged while they eat. It’s suggested that 50% of customers are likely to stay longer and consume more, if they can recharge their mobile devices. [3]

Brandstand’s Qi Wireless charging products can be easily deployed in a wide variety of places, enhancing the guest/visitor experience with relatively little expense and effort. With more devices supporting the technology each year, wireless charging is quickly moving from a ‘nice to have’ feature to a ‘must-have’ hospitality upgrade.

Discover Brandstand’s versatile range of wireless charging products

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