Wireless charging of mobile devices, trial at Starbucks UK

Friday, January 23rd 2015

Starbucks, the American coffee-house chain, has announced that ten London Starbucks branches will be offering wireless charging facilities for customers in a trial in UK. The ten stores, in some of its busiest business branches in central London, will provide a Powermat wireless charging 'spot' for mobile devices, such as, smartphones and tablets. Users just need to collect a charger dongle to use the facility free. The Power Ring chargers of Powermat works with all Android and iOS devices, via a wireless charging 'spot' using induction technology, to transfer power on contact. At Starbucks the charging 'spot' is integrated with the table to avoid any inconvenience, are water-resistant and easy to wipe clean. There will be 600 hotspots like these supporting the launch. Customers can get the chargers from the store or can buy one (for £10) for their own use, that is based on the Qi charging standard (which Powermat is using).


The UK trial has been launched very recently, following a similar trial in the USA which proved popular. Starbucks is a pioneer of sorts as they were also one of the first chains to offer free WiFi in branch stores, since 2011. They had earlier launched a mobile app for customer's use to help NFC enabled payment terminals. Starbucks is following the lead that McDonalds had shown earlier, when they started offering the similar Qi standard of induction charging in 50 of their UK restaurants.


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