Starbucks Installing Wireless Charging Stations In Stores Across U.S.

Powermats in action.

Powermats in action.

Remember those Powermat things Starbucks was testing back in 2012, where you just set your smartphone down on top of it for a bit and it gets juiced up? After its earlier trial run, Starbucks says the system is ready to roll out to stores across the country.

The Powermat Spots will be installed directly into tables and counters at Starbucks and some Teavana locations, starting with a kickoff in the San Francisco Bay Area, reports The Verge (h/T Gizmodo).

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.

Starbucks starts rolling out wireless phone chargers nationwide [The Verge]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.