Charging cables are annoying. They tangle, are often the wrong length, come unplugged at the slightest tug, and they’re far too easy to misplace. When wireless chargers made their debut on the consumer market, many of us were grateful for an alternative that ditched the cables in favor of a simple charging platform. There’s just one problem: they’re almost always ugly, and they clutter our desks, nightstands, and tabletops even more than the cables ever did.
Take Samsung’s charging pad, for example. Roughly the size and shape of a small plate, it’s not exactly unobtrusive, and its location will always determine the way you arrange the rest of the objects on that surface. Luckily, the company seems to have realized as much, because they’ve just collaborated with design studio PESI to work out a better solution: everyday home furnishings with charging pads built right into them.
PESI presents “On the Surface” and “Composition,” two distinct collections of wireless charging furniture developed as part of Samsung’s “Creative Square” competition, which challenges young design companies to create new “mobile environments” for a more nomadic, technology-reliant future. The series fondly recalls a not-so-distant past when electronics weren’t such a visible and intrusive part of home life.
Instead of trying to make chargers more aesthetically pleasing, the designers chose to disguise them altogether. You wouldn’t know by looking at these trays, tables, shelves, clocks, speakers, and mirrors that they’re equipped with the ability to power up your phone, tablet, and other mobile devices.
“On the Surface” pairs wireless charging capabilities with the items you’d normally have on your desktop or nightstand, so instead of having all of these objects plus a charging pad on there, you can have one or more of them on double-duty. Made out of acrylic plastic, this minimalist white collection of objects can slot seamlessly into any modern decor scheme.
“Composition,” on the other hand, is full-scale furniture. The pieces’ wireless chargers are located on the bottoms of trays, which can be used alone or mounted onto a series of stands, including pedestals, wall brackets, low side tables, and small bookcases. The surface of each tray can be used exactly as you’d use a normal tray — which almost always means having your phone on it anyway, right? Just add some snacks, coffee cups, books, glasses, notebooks, and calculators. The designers note that the collection is adaptable to a wide range of tastes, so you can use the trays with other styles of furniture, too.
“As the use of mobile products is increasing today, we analyzed that not only the form and function of the mobile product itself, but also the environment where the mobile product is used will change significantly,” explains PESI.
“The wireless-charging technology is in a simple form of charging rather than in complex connections so that it provides a charging environment that naturally mixes with the living space. We are proposing a natural and comfortable environment of using mobile products in living spaces through two wireless-charging product collections, which expand in various forms and soak into every living space.”