Free Wi-Fi is the norm at Starbucks and soon the same might be said about wireless charging. Starbucks announced today that it is expanding the number of stores using Duracell Powermat to wirelessly charge smartphones, after successful test runs in Boston and San Jose.
"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," said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer at Starbucks, in a press release.
Starbucks will begin the roll out in the San Francisco Bay area and continue its expansion in major markets next year and continue to add wireless charging mats in Starbucks-owned stores (including Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bars) nationwide. Eventually Starbucks plans to deploy 100,000 Powermats in its stores.
The wireless charging expansion isn't limited to the United States. Starbucks says that it will begin pilots of the wireless charging mats in Europe and Asia at some point this year.
The move will give PMA, the wireless charging standard used by Powermat, an advantage over the two other competing wireless charging standards.
"When Starbucks introduced WiFi in their stores in 2001, 95 percent of devices didn't have WiFi, and multiple standards hampered the industry," said Stassi Anastassov, President of Duracell at Procter & Gamble, in a press release. "The rest is history. Starbucks plans to offer Powermat nationally is likely to settle any lingering standards question, and usher wireless power into the mainstream."
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