June 17, 2014
Starbucks Soon To Offer Free Wireless Charging Stations
Coming soon, that Quad Venti Caramel Macchiato won’t be the only source of eye opening energy at your local Starbucks. The company, which bills itself as your ‘third place,’ behind home and work, is keeping its business edge razor sharp by not only staying ahead of the curve, but by paving the road leading to the next big thing. The coffee, tea and more company announced today that they will be rolling out wireless charging stations in each of their 7,500 company-owned stores over the next three years.
In a partnership with Duracell Powermat, the company intends to place 100,000 wireless charging stations into their counter and tabletops. The total commitment means that each store will have approximately a dozen Duracell Powermats in and around their cafe for customers to recharge their devices while they seek their own caffeine surge.
The typical Starbucks customer tends to be young-ish and fairly tech savvy. Starbucks has always realized this and has comfortably positioned itself on the cutting edge of offering a value added experience for their customers. As broad use of the Internet was beginning to ramp up and depart from our home-only experience, Starbucks was one of the first national chains to offer Wi-Fi access back in 2001.
Adam Brotman, the chief digital officer for the Seattle-based company stated, “Starbucks believes this is another step in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to in-store technology.” The trend towards wireless charging has been making modest upward advances over the past few years. It is likely that the embrace of the Duracell Powermat could likely be a major driver toward a broader and much more rapid acceptance of the technology. Think of it: Soon, gone will be the days when you had to make sure you packed your phone or tablet charger and the inevitable and insufferable anxiety and grief one goes through when they forget to.
Market research has predicted most Starbucks customers will likely use the charging pads for about 15 minutes. That should be just long enough for a quick power boost for both your phone and yourself. While they number far fewer, there is anticipation of some using the new technology to get a full charge on their phone over the period of an hour or so. Starbucks will, I’m certain, be happy to sell them any number of hot or cold beverages while they power up.
As the technology is still in its infancy, many phones have yet to be designed to accept a wireless charge. But most every popular phone has an add-on accessory, like a protective case that doubles as an external battery, that would be able to take advantage of Starbucks’ new Duracell Powermats. Plus, if the coffee company drives the technology to a broad acceptance, phone manufacturers will most certainly design upcoming models to accept a wireless charge.
“This move by Starbucks,” says Daniel Schreiber, president of Powermat Technologies, “cuts the final cord of our lives – the power cord. It’s changing the way humanity interacts with power.”
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