Starbucks Expanding PMA Wireless Charging to More Stores

Posted by at 11:20 am on June 12, 2014

Starbucks is prepared to increase the availability of wireless charging stations at its coffee shops. The company has been trialling the technology in San Francisco and Boston for some time, and has decided to make a broader push first by expanding across the entire Bay Area and then to other regions.

Starbucks is working with Powermat and Duracell, which use the inductive charging standard developed by the Power Matters Alliance. Some phones in the market use the PMA standard for wireless charging, but many do not. Powermat and Duracell make a wide array of sleeves and other accessories for devices that don’t support wireless charging on their own.

Powermat will provide the backend technology needed for Starbucks to build the wireless charging stations into its stores, as well as tools to help customers figure out if their phones are compatible or not.

Starbucks estimates it will add about a dozen wireless charging stations to each of its 7,500 locations in the U.S. Many of the deployments won’t take place until 2015. There are still competing standards in the wireless charging space.

Earlier this year the Power Matters Alliance and the Alliance for Wireless Power agreed to merge standards. Qi, the standard created by the Wireless Power Consortium, still has strong support in some quarters and is supported by a number of phones. Despite the lack of a single standard, Starbucks’ Chief Digital Officer, Adam Brotman, said, “We feel like we found what we believe is the winning standard.”

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