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article imageStarbucks begins rollout of wireless rechargers in stores Special

By Nathan Salant     Jun 12, 2014 in Business
San Jose - Not getting enough charge from your morning Starbucks? Have no fear!
Now, your wireless devices can get charged, too! The world's largest chain of coffeehouses has begun offering wireless device recharging stations in its stores.
All customers have to do is place their devices on the small, round charging surfaces that will soon be on tables and counters in every Starbucks coffeehouse, and their phones or tablets or whatever will automatically begin recharging.
The new charging system, designed by Procter & Gamble’s Duracell brand and Powermat Technologies, already is in operation at stores in Boston and San Jose, Calif., Starbucks spokeswoman Maggie Jentzen said.
"We are thrilled to offer our customers that next level of convenience with Powermat wireless charging," Adam Botman, Starbucks' chief digital officer, said in a written statement.
"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,” Botman said.
After the initial rollout at 12 Starbucks locations in Boston and nine in San Jose, Starbucks expects to expand to additional major cities next year and beyond.
If all goes well, Starbucks says it plans 100,000 "Powermat Spots" to be installed in its US locations, including Teavana, and could begin installing the system in European coffeehouses next year..
Even the pace of the rollout can be followed online at powermat.com.
"We are thrilled to offer our customers that next level of convenience with Powermat wireless charging," Brotman said.
"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,” he said.
Powermat Spots are compatible with standards set by the industry group Power Matters Alliance, which includes leading technology device producers including Samsung, Blackberry, Microsoft, LG and others, Starbucks said.
Powermat CEO Ran Poliakine applauded the rollout of the new recharging system, which he characterized as innovative.
“Powermat Spots in Starbucks are the result of almost a decade of scientific research spanning material sciences, magnetic induction and mesh networking,” Poliakine said.
“The two-pronged power-plug dates back to the era of the horse drawn carriage, so that today’s announcement marks the first meaningful upgrade to the way we access power in well over a century,” he said.
Duracell president Stassi Anastassov also heralded the dawning of a new era of power technology and convenience.
“Starbucks is transforming the way consumers get power to their phones, in much the same way it made WiFi a standard amenity in public places," Stassi said.
“When Starbucks introduced WiFi in their stores in 2001, 95 percent of devices didn’t have WiFi, and multiple standards hampered the industry," he said. "The rest is history."
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