Starbucks is about to offer its customers a charge beyond the caffeine in its drinks.
Duracell Powermat and Starbucks announced today that they have begun a US 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 rollout in Starbucks company-operated stores and Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bars planned over time.
"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 online.
But only limited number of smartphones have the technology that works with the charging spots today. For most device owners, they will have to have a special case, costing about $20 to $30, in order to work with the wireless charging system.
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.