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Wireless charging coming to Starbucks in the Valley

Duracell Powermat and Starbucks partner to allow free wireless charging of PMA certified devices

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
July 26, 2013
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/30ef

In my days as an angry youth, I was 100% against Starbucks. I saw them as the big conglomerate that came in and shut down all the mom and pop stores; basically the Walmart of the coffee world. And then my girlfriend had me try a frappacino and, well let's say my opinion changed pretty quickly. Now I'm actually a Starbucks Gold Member. It comes with a gold card and everything! It's kind of awesome.

Love them or hate them, though, Starbucks has always been good with bringing technology to its customers. Now they giving away another goodie: free wireless charging for smartphones.

Duracell Powermat and Starbucks have partnered to bring wireless charging to store in the Silicon Valley area, it was announced Friday. The technology was already successfully tested in store in Boston.

The way it works is fairly simple: the tables will be equipped with Powermat technology. As long as the customer has a Powers Matters Alliance (PMA) certified device or smartphone case, all they have to do is put the phone down on the table and it will automatically begin to charge.

Right now, most phones do not automatically come with the technology, and would require customers to buy a PMA certified case, but that is going to change pretty soon. AT&T recently announced that many of its smartphones will ship with PMA wireless charging technology next year, while Blackberry, HTC, LG, Samsung, ZTE and other smartphone makers have also signed on to the PMA.

This move is yet another in a series that have helped turn  Starbucks into as much of a tecnnology hub as it as a coffee shop. Of c ourse, there is the free wi-fi that every struggling writer abuses, but there are also those free downloads they give out, as well as access to 15 free articles on the New York Times.

And then there is Starbucks partnership with Square, which allows customers to pay directly from their smartphone with the Square Wallet app in over 7,000 locations around the country.

"We know that our customers use our cafes in a number of ways beyond buying coffee. For some, it's their home office, for others it's their place to get away and have some time to themselves. More and more customers are using Starbucks as their home base and they are looking to recharge in a number of ways," Adam Brotman, chief digital officer, Starbucks Coffee Company, said in a statement.

(Image source: http://social-roadmap.com)