Each store will end up with about 10 or more Powermat Spots on average, the company says, with Powermat’s president Daniel Schreiber telling the Verge that “2014 will be focused mainly on the west coast, but 2015 will see expansions to major metropolises across the United States.”
What’s that you say? You don’t think your phone will be able to charge on such a thing? It might not be — there’s a fight going on in the technology world over the standards for such technology, with Powermat and the Power Matters Alliance on one side and the Wireless Power Consortium and its Qi charging standard on the other.
More smartphones have Qi technology, with PMA lagging behind in that field. But if you want to be able to charge your phone on a Powermat, you can buy a compatible back cover for certain Samsung phones. Apple also sells a Duracell Powermat iPhone case.
“Devices will come out with compatible technology, and we’ll see an industry that’s been hamstrung a bit with standards issues and conflicting implementations coalesce a common ground,” Schreiber said.
Or if you don’t have any add-ons or a compatible device, you can buy a tiny receiver ring that plugs into your phone and enables you to use the mat to recharge. It’s unclear whether or not Starbucks will sell these directly to power hungry customers.