October 30, 2012
Starbucks To Offer Wireless Charging In Their Stores
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
In a way, Starbucks has always offered wireless charging for their patrons. The world´s largest fast food coffee chain has been providing their customers with quick pick-me ups for decades, all without the use of wires.
It´s a terrible pun of course, but yesterday Starbucks announced they´d be joining the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) along with AT&T and Google. Founded by wireless charger manufacturer Powermat Technologies and Procter and Gamble, the PMA aims to help set a global standard for what could be a blossoming market - charging electronic devices wirelessly.
In a press statement about their decision to support the PMA, Starbucks also attempts the same easy pun, saying the “green” aspect of wireless charging makes them excited to be a part. “We are always looking for ways to help our customers recharge, both literally and figuratively,” said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer of Starbucks.
“Wireless charging is not only the most convenient and simple way to recharge a mobile device, but it´s environmentally friendly — so it makes perfect sense for us to be working with the PMA to create a universal standard for wireless charging.”
As a part of their support of the PMA, Starbucks will begin installing some of these wireless charging stations in 17 locations in and around the Boston area. According to Boston.com, Starbucks will begin offering their customers a chance to power their devices via Duracell´s Powermat in Boston´s financial district as well as Harvard Yard and Davis Square.
“We're building the Powermat technology into some of the tabletops, just to get a sense for how our customers will react, compared to having to plug their mobile devices into the wall,” explains Brotman, speaking to Boston.com.
Of course, these Powermats don´t work completely on their own. In order to get the power to your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, you´ll need an accessory, like a case, to get power your device. Those Bostonians who want to give these Powermats a try but find themselves without an accessory will be able to ask their barista for a free loaner.
According to Brotman, the test stores will do a few giveaways of these accessories once the test is underway, but customers will still be able to borrow one from the store.
"Boston is a hotbed for early adoption and tech-savvy customers,” explains Brotman, saying these Starbucks stores will run the test through the frantic holiday season.
“Early in the year, we'll talk to our customers and our store partners and regroup with Powermat to figure out the next steps."
Starbucks isn´t a stranger when it comes to employing modern tech in their coffee shops. While the stores have long offered customers Wi-Fi through AT&T, they finally began to offer it for free in all their company stores in 2010. Earlier this year, Starbucks announced a partnership with mobile payment company Square providing a huge leap for the mobile payment market.
Starbucks will begin handing off their credit and debit card transactions to Square this fall. When the system is fully implemented, customers will be able to pay for their coffee by simply giving their names as opposed to handing over cash or scanning their iPhone.
Yes, it looks like Starbucks coffee may begin to taste like the future in the next year.