Starbucks announced today that they plan to eventually install Powermat wireless charging mats in all of their locations across the United States. Starbucks stated that they plan to initiate the roll out beginning in San Francisco. This includes to Teavana locations in the city. Starbucks has already commenced the trial stage of this roll out in Boston.
Starbucks chief digital officer Adam Brotman made a public statement on the roll out. He said, “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.”
Starbucks plans to have 10 wireless charging mats in each coffeehouse across the US. However, not all users will be able to use these wireless charging mats due to incompatibility. Powermats are technically Duracell products and as of right now are not usually compatible with smartphones. Users will be forced to purchase additional hardware accessories in order to actually use this technology.
Wireless Power Consortium, the main competitor to Duracell in this field currently supports Qi. Qi is the charging standard for a large number of Android devices such as the Nexus 5 and the LG G3 to nae a few. WPC members include major manufacturers such as Panasonic, Nokia and Sony as well as many others. It’s clear the sheer reach of WPC is much greater.
This incompatibility may cause some issues for the roll-out. For Starbucks in particular, a large amount of customers may not even be able to use the technology, which could make the entire plan pointless and cost the company financially.
The technology itself is very new and is continuing to grow as a market. It was only recently that Intel announced they were planning to develop wireless chargers for tablets and laptops alongside a new generation of Intel Core processors.