Customers grabbing coffee at Starbucks will now be able to charge devices for free without needing to plug in. Starbucks and Duracell Powermat are partnering a program to deploy wireless phone chargers at locations across the country.
The wireless charging service will begin in the San Francisco Bay Area, where customers can purchase coffee and recharge their phones without needing to sit near a wall socket. The move should give another boost to Starbucks within the coffeehouse market.
The company said it will be launching more than 100,000 table chargers through Powermat charge pads at over 7,500 Starbucks-owned locations throughout the U.S.
"Starbucks believes this is another step in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to in-store technology," says Adam Brotman, chief digital officer at Starbucks.
If successful in the SF Bay Area, the company plans to begin rolling the charge pads out across the country in 2015.
The move is part of Starbucks' overall push to be tech savvy, in which it views itself as an ideal coffee break location offering the latest technological innovations.
According to the CEO of the ad agency Camp + King, the strategy is part of enhancing Starbuck's brand image toward a "tech-enabled gathering place."
The agency noted that Starbucks is "adding 'smart' to its original vision of the third place -- now it's a 'smart third place'."
Powermat views the partnership as a natural progression of its mission and Starbucks' to assist users in getting better access to the Internet by giving customers easier access to maintain connectivity.
"This move by Starbucks cuts the final cord of our lives -- the power cord," says Daniel Schreiber, president of Powermat Technologies. "It's changing the way humanity interacts with power."
So the next time you're heading to a Starbucks, at least sometime in near future, charging up your smartphone won't be so difficult.