Starbucks Couples with Powermat to Put Wireless Charging Spots in their Shops
Starbucks joins with Powermat to roll out wireless charging spots in their coffee shops across the United States. The project at first will focus on the west of the country — for this year, however, they will start expanding with the advent of 2015, according to Powermat President Daniel Schreiber.
The deal seems to be a breakthrough victory for the Power Matters Alliance and Powermat. The Power Matters Alliance is currently in a tangle with the Wireless Power Consortium, seller of the Qi standard.
For those of us who are not aware, the Qi standard is an interface standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium for wireless power transfer. Basically, it is a standard for wireless charging which allows charging for devices over a distance of 1.6 inches or 4 cm. Users having devices embedded with its technology — there are many — including the LG G3 and the Nexus 5, will be able to charge their device by placing them over the power transmission pad.
Schreiber said that each Starbucks will have 10 or more charging stations for people to charge their phones. However, his and the efforts of PMA might not pay off since they do not enjoy the same luxury of compatibility as the Qi standard has. Most people will have to get a compatible case for their phones before they can go ahead and bid adieu to their charging cables.
However, Schreiber has said the winds are whirling around, and that the tide is slowly shifting towards the PMA standard as people can now buy PMA standard compatible cases for tech giant, Samsung’s phones that enable the Powermat charging.
Also, Apple, though they have not picked a side between the two standards as yet, they still sell a Duracell Powermat iPhone case at their retail stores.
Schreiber said: “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.”
If you do not possess a supported device, you can get your hands on a small and cheap “ring” that will allow your device to get wirelessly charged.
This combined project of the PMA, Powermat and Starbucks is quite big in its scope, and though users don’t necessarily plan on sitting down for a couple of hours to fully charge their phones, they still manage to get enough of a charge to get them through the day or to their next generation without them having to worry about their phones dying.
With phones progressing in terms of HD Displays and processing power, their battery life is the one thing that keeps holding them back. However, in recent news, a research team at Microsoft believes that the batteries of the smartphones are fine, and that manufacturers can and should make batteries with more life in them.
The reason behind the low battery times, the team believes is the inefficient use of power by the hardware and software. Microsoft is planning on making a smartphone that has a battery life of a week or more.