Not only does Starbucks offer free WiFi to people who come into their stores, but they will now be offering wireless smartphone charging as well.

The coffee shops will be installing Duracell Powermat wireless charging rings underneath their tables. Currently, they are testing the technology out in only a few US cities, but it will soon spread to over 8,000 stores across the country.

“From Wi-Fi and the in-store Starbucks Digital Network to mobile payment and digital music downloads, we have always tried to anticipate our customers’ needs early in the adoption curve and provide a world-class solution,” Adam Brotman, chief digital officer at Starbucks, said in a statement.

Of course, most phones won’t be able to use the technology. Wireless charging is not supported on most available devices, but it will be available on newer devices. It is confirmed that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6 will support wireless charging, although no information has been released about how that technology will be used.

However, Powermat president Daniel Schreiber believes that consumers might soon be able to put small rings on their phones that would allow them to use the new technology. Just to be clear, wireless charging is exactly what it sounds like – being able to charge a device without  having to use a power cord. The phones instead sit on a type of disc, which then provides power to the device.

Duracell Powermat is just one of three upcoming companies that are making wireless charging possible. The combined global market for the products is expected to reach as high as 1.7 billion shipments in 2023. Already, phones like the Google Nexus 4 and 5, as well as the upcoming iPhone 6, will support wireless charging.

The locations of Starbucks stores that currently have the free wireless charging stations can be seen here. There are also apps for iOS and Android.

6 Responses

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