Starbucks will begin rolling out wireless charging mats in stores across the US

Starbucks_Logo_Store_Front

Starbucks already offers WiFi access points for customers, but it looks like they’re going a step further and adding another technological convenience to their stores in the US: wireless charging mats. Duracell and Starbucks have made a joint announcement that they’ll be rolling out Duracell Powermat Spots that will be designated areas or tables where you can simply drop your (wireless charging-capable) device to juice up the battery while you wait for your coffee.

The rollout for the Powermats will start in Seattle and New York, and will gradually start hitting other stores over the year. Every store should have wireless charging stations implemented by 2015.

Starbucks consistently tries to stay ahead of the technological curve, whether that’s by launching public WiFi access points or sponsored digital downloads for music or apps. The wireless charging situation with mobile devices isn’t great, with multiple standards for wireless charging and many devices lacking wireless charging capabilities anyway. If it does straighten out and become a standard in the next few years, Starbucks will be well ahead of the game.

SEATTLE and NEW YORK – June 12, 2014 / PR Newswire / — Duracell Powermat and Starbucks today announced that they have begun a national rollout of Powermat wireless charging in Starbucks beginning with stores in San Francisco’s Bay Area. The companies will expand Powermat to additional major markets in 2015, with a full national rollout in Starbucks company-operated stores and Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bars planned over time. Initial pilots in Europe and Asia are expected within the year.

“From WiFi and the in-store Starbucks Digital Network to mobile payment and digital music downloads, we have always tried to anticipate our customers’ needs early in the adoption curve and provide a world-class solution. We are thrilled to offer our customers that next level of convenience with Powermat wireless charging. Rather than hunting around for an available power outlet, they can seamlessly charge their device while enjoying their favorite food or beverage offering right in our stores,” said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer at Starbucks. “We were pleased with the customer response to the pilot tests, and we’re now expanding this offering nationally to provide our customers a quality and reliable experience as they use our stores as their respite, their office away from home or as a gathering place with their friends and family.”

Stores will be equipped with ‘Powermat Spots’ – designated areas on tables and counters where customers can place their compatible device and charge wirelessly. Select Starbucks stores in Boston and San Jose offer Powermat today and the broader rollout can be tracked atwww.powermat.com/locations.

“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.”

Powermat Spots comply with the open standard set by the PMA – whose members include AT&T, Blackberry, HTC, Huawei, LG, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, TI and ZTE – resulting in a growing universe of devices and accessories that will charge seamlessly in Starbucks.

“Starbucks is a highly regarded global brand and its decision to rollout a Powermat network is both empowering and transformative for consumers and the mobile industry as a whole,” said Jeff Howard, vice president, Mobile Devices and Accessories, AT&T Mobility. “Many of our newer devices have compatible technology either embedded or available as an added feature to give consumers the freedom to charge wirelessly. Today’s announcement marks an important time for our customers – they will have the freedom to stay charged effortlessly in Starbucks stores nationwide over time.”

“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 questions, and usher wireless power into the mainstream.”

About Duracell Powermat 
Duracell Powermat is the joint venture between Procter & Gamble’s Duracell brand and Powermat Technologies. Duracell Powermat provides real-life power solutions for consumers both at-home and on-the-go at select retailers and at www.duracellpowermat.com.  As part of the Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG), Duracell has been powering people around the world for more than 40 years.  Powermat Technologies is a pioneer and leader of the wireless power industry, and its technology forms the basis of the open standard set by the PMA - the platform of choice for such global leaders as AT&T, DuPont, Duracell, General Motors and Starbucks.  To learn more please visitwww.powermat.com, and follow Powermat via Facebook, and Twitter.

About Starbucks 
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at www.starbucks.com. For more information on this news release, contact us.

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  • Pitchy

    Of course they won’t be using Qi which pretty much seems like a universal standard now… so they will be going with the less popular format that Duracell has been pushing for some time. I am guessing this has some AT&T backing as well since AT&T is on board with Duracell’s wireless charging. For instance, the Nokia 1520, AT&T forced the removal of Qi and the implementation of Duracell’s wireless charging chip making it instantly useless with nearly every wireless accessory Nokia had put out for it’s products. I imagine it was a backdoor deal where AT&T said let us provide you with some WiFi and wireless charging for your customers, but you have to use this wireless charging that virtually no one uses.

    Count me out!