Back in June of 2014, Starbucks rolled out Powermats, which allowed devices that supported wireless charging to charge up while they were in the restaurant.
Now that the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X support wireless charging, Starbucks is making a few changes to make sure that Apple’s newest devices are supported. Right now, the Powermats do not support the Qi wireless charging standard, which means that even if a new iPhone is set atop one, it won’t charge. A software upgrade by the vendor will be changing that in the near future, though.
“If there’s a new standard, a new variant of the standard – you have PMA, you have Qi, you have Samsung’s Wireless Fast Charging – we can download new software to our points and support them,” the chief technology officer explains. “The biggest difference between PMA and Qi is the communication protocols. Again, we designed a controller which is software programable so we can integrate new communication protocols on this platform.”
Unfortunately, while the fix is simple enough, with just a software upgrade, it sounds like it might not be a situation where the Powermats are upgraded nationwide all at once. According to the report, the software upgrade will happen based on individual stores, and depend on a variety of factors, including logistical issues. With that being said, Powermat does expect that it will have the update complete before the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus officially launch, so that’s good news.
It’s also worth noting that if you have a Powermat wireless charger in your home, for other devices, this software upgrade only applies to Starbucks installations, and not just in general for Powermat hardware.
Are you happy that wireless charging is now officially supported on the iPhone lineup?[via SlashGear]