If you remember the early 2000, Starbucks cafes were offering Wi – Fi, in times when not so many knew what Wi-Fi was.
ecent news tell us that Starbucks is once again ready to revolutionize the concepts of “customer service” and “customer satisfaction” by installing wireless charging surfaces in Starbucks cafes in the U.S.
What is a wireless charging surface?
Maybe it sounds a bit futuristic, but simply put, it is a “hot spot” which can be used on a table or on a counter. It can recognize a smartphone or a tablet placed on it and it can start recharging the device’s battery with no fuss, no outlet, no power cord. In the words of Starbucks officials,
From WiFi 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. We are thrilled to offer our customers that next level of convenience with Powermat wireless charging. Rather than hunting around for an available power outlet, they can seamlessly charge their device while enjoying their favorite food or beverage offering right in our stores.
The installment of wireless charging surfaces in Starbucks cafes will be possible due to a partnership between the company and Duracell Powermat. Unfortunately, just as it happened with the Wi – Fi back in the day, Starbucks needs to overcome a few obstacles.
The first one is that people don’t know much about wireless charging surfaces, but they will learn soon. We are not in 1999 anymore. However, the most difficult obstacle is the one represented by the competition among different wireless charging surfaces standards.
The PMA standard that Powermat sports is supported by AT&T, BlackBerry, HTC, Huawei, LG and Samsung, so if you have smart devices signed by one of these companies, the Starbucks charging surface will be right for you. If you own an iPhone, you will have to buy a special case compatible with the Starbucks surface. It is still complicated, but it isn’t impossible.
Starbucks and Duracell Powermat officials said they will start working on introducing the wireless charging surfaces in Starbucks cafes starting this year on the west coast, with 2015 being the highlight. The cafes should have 10 or more Powermat Spots each. Stay tuned to the news, as the standards problem is yet to be solved and we’re sure we’ll hear more about this Starbucks initiative in the immediate future.