Next time you feel like popping out for a Starbucks, but are concerned the battery in your phone won’t last out, don’t worry. Following tests earlier this year, the coffee shop has started to officially introduce wireless charging mats in 200 of its stores around the San Francisco Bay Area, and says it’s the first step in bringing out the same tech across America, Europe, and Asia, possibly by the end of this year.
Wireless charging spots have been built into designated tables and counters – dubbed Powermat Spots – where power will flow through to any phone that’s placed on top. Well, any phone with wireless charging capabilities. If your phone isn’t one of them, Starbucks isn’t missing the chance to make some extra cash. It has teamed up with Duracell to sell or rent out Powermat Rings, which add wireless charging to those devices without the feature.
Anyone familiar with wireless charging will know the industry is split between two competing standards, known as PMA and Qi. Starbucks has opted for the Duracell-backed PMA standard, leaving the batteries inside Qi devices losing power rather pathetically. … (Read more)