Starbucks to offer wireless cellphone charging

You're probably used to heading to Starbucks for a quick recharge during a busy day. Well, now you can do the same thing for your smartphone.

"The coffee chain is rolling out Powermat wireless charging stations in San Francisco now and next year to other major cities across the country." (Via Fox News)

Starbucks is teaming up with Duracell Powermat to install small, circular charging pads directly into counters and tables at Starbucks and Teavana stores across the country.

Don't have a phone that's compatible with the charging pads? No worries -- CNET reports you can buy a tiny, inexpensive receiver ring that plugs into your phone and lets you place it onto the pad to charge.

"When you're out and about the city, you're running out of battery, you're getting into Starbucks, you place your phone on the counter, and you get a charge while you're having your coffee. This is a very intuitive kind of service." (Via CNN)

Over the next three years, more than 100,000 of these handy charging pads will reportedly be installed in Starbucks' 7,500 company-owned locations. Add 'em up, and that's about a dozen per store.

Gizmodo says this is a major win for Duracell Powermat and the technology that powers its devices. The outlet points out, right now, there are two different wireless charging standards — Qi, which is backed by companies like Nokia and Samsung, and the Power Matters Alliance, or PMA, which is used by Duracell Powermats.

The Verge notes the Starbucks Powermat program could be enough to make the PMA standard more, well, standard. Qi's technology has been embedded into a lot more smartphones than PMA's, but this could potentially change things.

And the Powermat charge pads will, of course, be a victory for Starbucks, too.

As USA Today points out, the coffee giant is appealing to the "techie, often young-ish clientele" with this new move. "Not only is Starbucks eliminating the stress, it's giving customers a cool reason to linger and buy another $4 cup of its designer coffee."

Duracell Powermat's president told The Verge the company hopes to have charge pads in stores in major metropolitan centers across the U.S. by 2015.

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