If college students, writers, start-ups and cloud-based businesses needed another reason to stakeout tables at Starbucks for entire days on end,* the beverage giant announced a partnership with Duracell to offer mobile device charging stations. Starting with San Francisco-area locations (which represents the largest community introduction of the product), Starbucks will provide Powermat charging stations for those needing a boost of energy for their phones.
Participating stores will have “Powermat Spots” strategically placed on tables and counters. This announcement continues Starbucks’ history of offering its customers technological services that allow greater coffee enjoyment. In 2001, the company was one of the first restaurant chains to offer free wi-fi in its stores, and the Powermat Spots are a natural progression (plus, we’ll have to deal with fewer cord-dodging and power-plug-hoarding incidents).
Starbucks Now Gives You AND Your Phone a Jolt
Allow me to be the first to offer a note of congratulations to those who own Power Matters Alliance (PMA) standard wireless devices brought to you by companies including ASUStek, AT&T, Blackberry, HTC, Huawei, LG, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony, and ZTE. Also, unless you decide that Powermat Spots are worth an address change, we need to reserve our excitement for residents of the Bay Area, Boston and San Jose. As of now, Starbucks plans to expand the program in 2015, but there are few definitive details on the when, where and how of the program reaching further into other regions and countries.
“Powermat Spots in Starbucks are the result of almost a decade of scientific research spanning material sciences, magnetic induction and mesh networking,” said Ran Poliakine, CEO of Powermat Technologies. “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.”
*(I fit most of the criteria — writer, start-up owner and cloud-based operations dependent — so this is far from a critique; it’s more of a rallying cry! Join me, but don’t take my favorite table by the window.)