While there are power outlets provided at Starbucks, they can be used up pretty quickly by those who are using laptops, so if you were hoping to charge your phone while enjoying a cup of coffee at Starbucks, you might be out of luck. However the good news is that Starbucks has announced a partnership with Duracell which will see the installation of Powermat wireless chargers in Starbucks outlets.
This is expected to begin in the San Francisco Bay Area and will expand to other markets come 2015. Starbucks’ ultimate goal would be to cover all of their outlets, although we expect that might take a while before it happens. The company also plans to launch pilot programs for the European and Asian markets later in the year as well, so if you’re not living stateside, don’t worry because you could get a chance to participate.
However we should note that the wireless charging provided by Duracell is of the PMA standard, as opposed to the Qi standard which is another wireless charging standard, so if your device is Qi-only compatible, then you would be out of luck. While this seems like an odd choice, to pit different standards together, the ubiquity of Starbucks could allow for the PMA standard to eventually gain the upperhand.
As it stands carriers like AT&T and Sprint have been pushing the PMA standard in some of their products, and even Samsung has begun offering a PMA compatible back cover for some of their phones, although they do have Qi versions as well. This isn’t the first time a coffee shop has offered wireless charging. We’ve seen this happen with Coffee Bean in the past, so Starbucks is hardly new to the game, but for those who frequent Starbucks often, this could be a boon.