Starbucks of the Future: Wirelessly Charge Your Phone on Powermats

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Ever realize the battery on your phone is about to die but you don’t have anywhere to charge it? Hate jockeying for that last power outlet at Starbucks? Jockey no more. Starbucks is teaming up with Duracell to try out a wireless charging system at 17 Boston locations.

Each of the 17 stores will feature 8 Powermats installed directly into the tabletops. After all, if you’re already putting your phone on the table, you may as well charge it at the same time. If you don’t happen to own a phone that has the feature, Starbucks will run some in-store giveaways and have loaners on hand so customers can test out the technology. While it’s a great idea, there are some drawbacks to the technology. Most notably, Powermats charge devices much slower than traditional chargers and, less notably, devices can get a little toasty in the process.

For Starbucks, introducing these charging stations is definitely a winning plan. Customers will stay longer at the locations and likely spend more on coffee and nom noms while they’re there. For the customers however, this plan might be a double-edged sword. Sure, you will be able to charge your phone, but the stores will be even more crowded than before. If you thought finding a table was hard now with all the people leeching off the WiFi, think of all the people who will be taking up precious table space charging their phones.

The Powermats will be available in Boston for a limited time only to test out the technology as well as gauging customers’ reactions to the new technology. I’m guessing if the feedback is positive the mega-coffee corporation will definitely install these Powermats in areas with the highest traffic. Note that the Powermats are good for charging phones only, (not laptops) so you’ll still have to find that elusive power outlet if you plan on plugging in your computer.

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