You’ll soon be able to charge your iPhone at a Starbucks location near you, if you happen to live in a larger city in the United States. The coffee company announced on Thursday that it will be bringing Powermat wireless phone chargers to Starbucks locations nationwide, starting with the San Francisco Bay area this year. The rollout will initially focus on the West Coast, and expand to major metropolitan areas across the United States through 2015.
Powermat Spots, which are marketed under the Duracell brand, will be seamlessly integrated on tables and surfaces at Starbucks locations, allowing customers to place their smartphone onto it for wireless charging. Each store is expected to receive 10 or more Powermat Spots on average, which is big news for the Power Matters Alliance and its fight against the Wireless Power Consortium and its Qi wireless charging standard.
You’ll need a compatible smartphone to wirelessly charge your device with a Powermat. If you’re an iPhone user, that means you’ll need to purchase a Duracell Powermat case from the Apple Store or elsewhere. Alternatively, there will be small receiver rings made available that, when plugged into your smartphone, allows it to be wirelessly charged on the Powermat. It is unknown if Starbucks will be providing these rings in stores.
Chris Welch of The Verge has more:
“The way we interact with power today is unchanged since the time of Thomas Edison,” Schreiber said, returning to the overall goals of wireless charging. What Powermat and Starbucks have managed to do, according to him, is help customers move beyond “sticking two pieces of metal into a hole in the wall.”
Will you charge your iPhone at Starbucks while waiting for your favorite Frappuccino?