BERLIN -- If nothing else, London-based Fonesalesman knows how to make a great-looking prototype. (It knows how to make wireless charging coasters and battery packs, too). Its wireless charging side table, under the moniker FurniQi, is all clean cuts and smooth surfaces thanks to the fact that it's made of bamboo. Plunk down any device that supports Qi wireless charging onto the two subtly ringed zones on the top of the FurniQi table and watch your power meter rise.
Look close at the FurniQi table and you'll see a pretty simple design. Two round charging pucks fitted into the bottom of the table transmit power. The charging area is denoted on top by two subtle circles in the surface. The company said it made them thin to minimize the design impact (and to keep the circles from looking like coffee stains). It also made the cuts shallow to minimize dust and grime collection.
For its own power source, the table does have a power cable. It's a standard USB cable running to each puck, and the wire is roughly the same color as the wood. You can bind it to one of the legs with an included set of clips for neater cable routing. You also have to assemble the table yourself, and the legs attach with Allen screws.
I should note that during a demo of the table, the responsiveness of the charging puck was flaky when the company rep tried charging multiple different phones. He said the table had a new (two days new, to be exact), different charging puck in it than the one in their existing charging products and that could be the culprit.
The reason for the different puck is that it has a mute feature that lets you turn off an audio notification that tells you when it's making a charge. He bravely soldiered on with us until he could get the demo working, and was up front about acknowledging the delayed response. Hopefully a solution will materialize quickly.
Fonesalesman won't be alone in the wireless-charging furniture market if the Indiegogo campaign for FurniQi succeeds. Another small furniture company named IKEA is bringing Qi-equipped furniture to market. Fonesalesman says it will differentiate itself by offering shipping anywhere in the world, and also because the table is of high quality and easy to assemble.
If you like the idea of the FurniQi, you can back it on Indiegogo in October. The company says if the campaign succeeds, early backers will receive their tables in time for Christmas this year. Pricing is still to be determined, but they're aiming to be competitive with similar IKEA products.
For more from this tech conference, check out all of CNET's IFA 2015 coverage here.