Starbucks uses free Wi-Fi to lure people into stores to sell them more coffee. It’s now going to sweeten the pot with wireless charging, and it’ll probably work.
Starbucks says it will install Powermat wireless charging rings beneath the surfaces of tables and countertops in its coffee shops across the U.S. after testing the technology in a few cities.
The first chargers in the national rollout will appear in Starbucks shops and Teavana stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. Starbucks announced last July that it would roll out wireless charging in its Silicon Valley stores. On average, each store should receive 10 or more Powermat Spots.
The wireless charging space has been confused by competing standards. Powermat and the Power Matters Alliance have been in a war with the Wireless Power Consortium, which pushes the Qi charging standard.
Qi technology has made it into more smartphones that PMA. So a smartphone case has been needed to make a phone PMA-compatible.
But the standards wars are contests for critical mass, and the PMA side believes the Starbucks win might begin to turn the tide.
Powermat president Daniel Schreiber says that consumers might soon be able to buy small rings that attach to phones to make them compatible with PMA charging tables at Starbucks.
Another thing that could really turn the tide is if Apple finally chose a side. The company currently sells the Duracell power mat in its stores. Also, the iPhone 6 will support wireless charging when it comes out this fall, but no word on which technology will be used.
Via: The Verge