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Starbucks will start offering wireless phone-charging in its stores

Found this on NW tech blog TakesonTech:

Starbucks is preparing to offer wireless phone-charging stations at its coffee shops. But don't get too excited; it won't start happening until next year for most stores in this area.

Starbucks has been testing the technology across the Bay Area and parts of Boston. The initial rollout is occurring in Boston.

Starbucks is working with Powermat and Duracell, which use the inductive charging standard developed by the Power Matters Alliance. Some phones in the market use the PMA standard for charging, but many do not. Powermat and Duracell make a wide array of sleeves and other accessories for devices that don’t support wireless charging on their own.

Powermat will provide the backend technology needed for Starbucks to build the wireless charging stations into its stores, as well as tools to help customers figure out if their phones are compatible or not.

Starbucks estimates it will add about a dozen wireless charging stations to each of its 7,500 locations in the U.S. Many of the deployments won’t take place until 2015.

Right now, the tech works with a limited number of smartphones. Owners of other devices will have to have a special case, costing about $20 to $30, in order to work with the wireless charging system.

The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.