Designers Vihanga Gore and Sergey Komardenkov want to make charging your phone as simple as putting a hot pan down on the table. Their theoretical concept, Heat Harvest, takes the heat energy expelled by everyday objects around the house, like cooking pans straight off the stove, and converts it to electricity that can be used to charge cell phones and other portable devices.
The Copenhagen Institute of Interaction students came up with the concept at Space10, a Copenhagen innovation lab run by IKEA, and envision it being built into IKEA furniture so that users could put the wasted heat from steaming mugs of tea (or an overheated laptop sitting on a table) to work. Heat harvesting pads could also be used under televisions, power strips, or any other object that generates heat.
The IKEA concept is still very hypothetical, but, it should be noted, not at all far-fetched. Wireless charging pads are already used to charge phones like the Samsung Galaxy through an electromagnetic field, and a few camping stoves allow you to hook up a phone charger to power devices using the heat of the campfire.