Coffee-drinking Bostonians may be in for a pleasant surprise the next time they pop into a Starbucks. Boston.com reports that the cafe chain is to install Duracell Powermats at 17 coffee shops for a limited trial in and around the city which will some visitors to charge their mobile devices without need of a power cable.
Though limited, the trial suggests Starbucks is keen to extend its appeal among laptop- and smartphone-toting customers (though Powermats provide only enough power to charge the latter) already making use of the Wi-Fi provided to customers.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
Those tempted to pop into a Starbucks to make use of wireless charging take note: accessories are needed to make use of the Powermat. Duracell makes compatible wireless charging cases for popular smartphones such as the iPhone 4 and 4S, and the Galaxy S III, but there's some hope for those unwilling to fork out for peripherals just yet. "A few weeks into the test, we'll do some in-store giveaways, and we will have some behind the counter available to loan out," Starbucks' chief digital officer Adam Brotman told Boston.com.
"Early in the year, we'll talk to our customers and our store partners and regroup with Powermat to figure out the next steps," Brotman added, suggesting there's hope the technology will receive a wider rollout before long.
The first three stores to receive the Powermats will be One Financial Center, 125 Summer Street, and 101 Federal Street, all in the financial district.