Starbucks Expands Wireless Charging Program to the West Coast
According to a recent report from AllThingsD
, Starbucks is expanding its experimental wireless charging program to the West Coast. The program will be rolling out at 10 stores in the San Jose area in August. Starbucks originally introduced the program in a number of Boston-area stores using Duracell Powermats, a PMA-standard wireless charging mat which allows those phones compatible Duracell cases to simply rest it on the mat to receive power.
The cases retail for roughly $35 for the iPhone 4 and 4S and $50 for the iPhone 5. AllThingsD
adds that Starbucks and Duracell have been giving away sleeves to frequent customers. The situation draws attention to the competing standards for wireless charging technology and Apple is likely to be another keen observer as the program unfolds in the San Jose area.
Starbucks published a patent for wireless charging technology in November 2012 and experiments by third-party case makers with wireless charging go as far back as 2009. If anyone has the ability to standardize wireless charging, it’s Starbucks due to their efforts and partnerships in the field. If Apple develops a phone that does wireless charging in compliance with the PMA standard, combined with the Starbucks’ program, the concept would likely go mainstream very quickly.