Starbucks recently announced a plan to rollout access to wireless charging technology developed by Israel’s Powermat — in all stores across the United States.
Powermat teamed up with Duracell (under parent group Procter & Gamble) to share their wireless charging capability not only with Starbucks, but other corporate giants such as McDonalds and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, as well as dozens of airports and Madison Square Garden.
Eliminating the need for power outlets, the wireless charging technology allows users to plug into a disc that is then placed on a charging table to charge phones wirelessly.
Following the successful completion of a long pilot program, Starbucks announced that San Francisco branches will be among the first to offer the wireless charging technology to customers.
“Powermat Spots in Starbucks are the result of almost a decade of scientific research spanning material sciences, magnetic induction and mesh networking,” said Ran Poliakine, CEO of Powermat Technologies. “The two-pronged power-plug dates back to the era of the horse drawn carriage, so that today’s announcement marks the first meaningful upgrade to the way we access power in well over a century.”
Stores in San Jose, California and Boston, Massachusetts are already using the technology, but most other stores across the nation will have to wait until 2015. Starbucks is also planning to implement the technology in Europe and Asia.
Since providing wireless charging does not add much value to the stores, observers speculate that the company may sell the small discs to make their investment worthwhile.
“Starbucks is transforming the way consumers get power to their phones, in much the same way it made WiFi a standard amenity in public places. This endeavor is a critical step in Duracell’s vision to make dead battery anxiety a thing of the past,” said Stassi Anastassov, President of Duracell at Procter & Gamble.
“When Starbucks introduced WiFi in their stores in 2001, 95 percent of devices didn’t have WiFi, and multiple standards hampered the industry. The rest is history. Starbucks plans to offer Powermat nationally is likely to settle any lingering standards question, and usher wireless power into the mainstream.”