IKEA Helps Consumers Cut the Cord With New Line of Wireless-Charging Furniture

wireless charging tables

More tech consumers have been adamantly looking for wireless alternatives to charging their mobile devices, and IKEA is now presenting them with a new option that is both stylish and functional.

IKEA made the announcement Sunday that its new Home Smart collection will be able to wirelessly charge consumers’ cellphones, tablets and other mobile devices through simple contact.

These days, cellphones take on an incredible amount of responsibility throughout the daily lives of their owners.

Today’s smartphones will typically have to operate GPS functions, stream live music or videos, run several active windows on the Internet, keep up with running apps, serve as a digital wallet and credit card, snap pictures, record videos, give consumers access to their favorite games, update calendars and decode the many random questions that consumers are often too lazy to type into the Google search bar all in one day. All of these responsibilities, of course, come along with the need to receive and send calls and text messages.

With mobile devices taking on so many functions, the batteries take a toll and it isn’t long before tech lovers hear the dreaded beeping noise of a battery that has officially slid under the 10 percent mark.

Rather than struggle to remember where the charger is when time is of the essence, people can now simply put their phones down and have confidence that their low battery nightmare will be over soon.

That’s the power of IKEA’s new line of furniture.

The Home Smart brand is launching with a collection of lamps, bedside tables and a coffee table, but there is already speculation that the furniture giant will be expanding the designs in the future.

Wireless charging furniture

All Home Smart pieces will be able to charge users’ cellphones as soon as they put the device down.

The furniture will use the wireless-charging standard Qi and is scheduled to be available throughout North America and the U.K. by April.

A discreet plus sign will be featured on the Home Smart pieces, letting buyers know where to place their devices when it comes time to give them a little charge.

The new line is a smart move on IKEA’s behalf as the tech trend of “cutting the cord” has been growing at an exponential rate.

As tech giants are working to figure out how to create devices with longer battery life, buyers are also looking for ways to charge their devices without scrambling for the cord and scurrying to the nearest outlet.

It’s important to note that the furniture will only be compatible with certain mobile devices, but the collection will also include charging pads that will be able to work with more Samsung and Apple models.

Samsung Privacy Policy Sparks Concerns That Smart TV Could Be Eavesdropping on Consumers

The debate over privacy concerns with new technology is a debate that has been happening consistently over the years, but the privacy policy for Samsung’s Smart TV is adding an interesting new element to the conversation.

In the pursuit of advanced, personalized technology, many consumers have agreed that some privacy will have to be sacrificed, but just how much privacy should be sacrificed is still up for debate.

Devices today are able to track our locations, monitor our behavior and even learn our personalities, but should they also be allowed to listen in on our personal conversations and collect that information?

That’s the question taking over the Web after Samsung’s privacy policy for its Smart TV advised consumers to think twice about having those personal conversations around the TV when the voice recognition feature is active.

“Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition,” the privacy policy reads.

That statement sent many consumers into a panic.

It certainly isn’t the most privacy-invading device out on the market, but it does seem to be an admission from one of the largest tech giant’s that its TV can and will be eavesdropping on your conversation if you’re not careful.

With that being said, Samsung released a statement to TechCrunch to insist that anyone concerned about the voice recognition technology has nothing to worry about.

Samsung pointed out that consumers can easily deactivate the voice recognition feature and they could also disconnect the Smart TV from their Wi-Fi network.

These two steps would essentially eliminate the TV’s eavesdropping capabilities.

For those who do want to use the voice recognition feature, Samsung claimed that they do not “retain voice data or sell it to third parties.”

“If a consumer consents and uses the voice recognition feature, voice data is provided to a third party during a requested voice command search,” the statement read. “At that time, the voice data is sent to a server, which searches for the requested content then returns the desired content to the TV.”

Some social media users, however, weren’t content with the statement thanks to yet another interesting sentence in the privacy policy — one that some argue is an admittance that there is a possibility that something could go wrong with the attempt to protect consumers’ privacy.

“Samsung is not responsible for these providers’ privacy or security practices,” the policy concludes.

In all fairness, it’s the type of statement that is included in nearly every privacy policy and was included because a team of lawyers thought it was necessary, not because the company genuinely believes that there is a good chance things could go haywire and leave consumers’ private information in the hands of malicious third parties.

Either way, the policy adds more fuel to a quickly spreading conversation that is extremely necessary.

In today’s computer-driven world, everything from our cellphones and tablets to our cars and home thermostats has the ability to essentially spy on consumers.

With so few guidelines and regulations tailored to such new technological advancements, consumers’ fears about what this means for the protection of their privacy are justified.

So as tech giants race to be the first ones to push out new devices with new features, they will still need to take the time to ask themselves what these new features mean for consumer privacy and how can they protect customers.

If not, growing consumer mistrust could lead to an interesting shakeup in the tech space.


Samsung Brings Curved Display to Its New PC

Samsung’s curved-design for HDTVs now comes to its PCs.

On Dec. 30, the company announced a brand new Ativ One 7 Curved, an all-in-one Windows machine. The 27-inch display has a 1920 x 1080 panel with vivid color and amazing viewing angles.

It is supposed to trick your eyes into believing the display is larger. Samsung has listed the display at 4000R. There is more immersion and less glare. 

The Ativ One 7 Curved features a slight curve in its screen that isn’t as clear compared to recent 4K TVs.

The actual computer aspect features an Intel Core i5 chipset and 8GB of RAM standard. The Ativ One 7 is not a traditional powerhouse type of PC. However, it should be sufficient enough for basic gaming and movie watching.

Inside, there is a 1TB, 5400 rpm hard drive with an embedded flash drive. There are  four USB ports and two of them are USB 3 types. There is also an SD / media card reader.

In terms of software, there are Samsung’s extra features built over Windows 8.1. The program SideSync 3.0 lets you receive texts and calls from your phone on the PC. You can also fully control your smartphone by mirroring the phone’s screen to the PC’s screen on the Ativ One 7’s 27-inch display.

Samsung will start releasing the Ativ One 7 in the first few months of 2015 for an estimated $1,299.

The 5 Best Available Smartphones For Mobile Gamers

Smartphone technology has really advanced in recent years, and these devices can be used for everything from watching videos to playing games. They can range from both graphically sophisticated efforts like Asphalt 8 and things like casino roulette. These are the top five gaming phones of 2014.

This list is presented by a guest blogger from Black Girl Nerds.


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 ($599)

This is the biggest Samsung smartphone — with a 5.7-inch, 1440 x 2560 resolution display – and image quality is superb. This makes it brilliant for games like Asphalt 8 and Modern Combat 5, where it is all about the graphics. Downsides are the cost and the fact that the 176-gram body isn’t all that comfortable over long periods of gaming.