American coffee giant Starbucks is giving its customers another way to power up their devices in-store, besides those outlets everyone fights over. The new initiative involves a partnership with Duracell Powermat to provide wireless charging in Starbucks and Teavana locations across the U.S., starting in San Francisco and rolling out gradually from there. Powermat uses the PMA standard, which is actually far less frequently used in shipping handsets than Qi, the main rival to PMA.
Duracell and Starbucks think that rolling out PMA support nationwide should help drive OEM adoption of its tech, and the standard is already backed by AT&T, BlackBerry, HTC, LG, Microsoft, Samsung and more. But for the time being, it means many who want to use the charging spots with their devices will have to rely on accessories sold by Duracell including charging cases and attachments.
The rollout should mean it’s easier for users to get their devices some juice on the go, even if for now that also means using a store-provided adapter or purchased case. In the future, it’s very likely we’ll see more OEMs provide compatibility directly in their hardware, especially if others follow Starbucks in backing the PMA standard. Apple has notably avoided choosing a horse in the wireless power race, and in fact hasn’t even introduced a device with any kind of induction charging at all. It holds patents for things that incorporate that tech, however, so clearly they’ve given it some thought in the R&D stage at least.