High-street shoppers in Central London will be able to wirelessly charge their mobile phones while grabbing a cup of coffee in ten Starbucks cafes from today.
Customers collect a charging ‘ring’ at the till, plug it into their phones and place their device onto the circular Powermat ‘spot’ installed into tables to instantly boost their batteries.
Starbucks’ European marketing lead Ian Cranna said he believed the technology was “transformational” and in-keeping with Starbucks’ digital innovation strategy.
Cranna hinted that there were more technologies up Starbuck’s sleeves - all with the intention to make customer’s lives a little easier, he said.
“We have always tried to anticipate our customers’ needs and innovate with technology to provide even more convenience.”
Powermat is already available to Starbucks customers in the US, and London is the first port of call for taking the technology international, chief solutions officer Carlo Chiarello told Techworld.
It is also being used by General Motors in some of its cars, AT&T, DuPont and Duracell.
McDonald's is also rolling out wireless charging to entice customers to 50 of its UK fast-food spots. The chain signed a deal with Aircharge to install 600 charging spots across the UK. Aircharge uses the Qi wireless standard, which is installed in more mobile phones than any other wireless technology. However, Starbucks’ Powermats can be used with charging ‘rings’ (see picture) to plug into Windows phones, iPhones and Android.
UK customers can find charging mats in Princes Street, Kingsway, Wardour Street, Pentonville Road, Harewood Place, Berkeley Street, Great Portland Street, Moorgate , Fleet Street and Euston Tower branches.
Charging rings cost £9.99 if a customer wishes to purchase one.