For some time now, Starbucks have had wireless charging pads in certain Starbucks stores up and down the country, but now the coffee giant is rolling them out worldwide. On the face of things it sounds great, pads available for quick and easy charging of your phone while you get the latest Caramel Gingerbread Macchiato Skinny Latte (or something similar). However, there’s a pretty big problem with Starbucks new addition to their stores; your phone probably doesn’t support it. THat’s because most Android smartphones are built with the Qi wireless standard into them and not the Power Matters Alliance’s standard which is used in the Powermats in Starbucks stores.
Powermat President, Daniel Schreiber, told the Verge that “2014 will be focused mainly on the west coast, but 2015 will see expansions to major metropolises across the United States” and that each Starbucks store will come with at least 10 or so stations to charge your devices. For those that don’t support the PMA’s wireless charging standard can buy the small rings that are shown above for microUSB charging as well as Lightning and the older iPhone standard. While the rings will presumably be inexpensive, it’s unclear whether or not they’ll be sold in Starbucks stores.
This is a pretty big win for the Power Matters Alliance that has been fighting for support over the rivaling Qi standard that is in most wireless chargers and devices. To see these new mats in Starbucks stores will be nice, but as Samsung devices can only be converted to use the Qi standard and other devices like the Nexus 5 use the same standard, it’s going to be hard to find smartphones that can actually benefit from the new powermats. Still, such adoption could help further the PMA standard and future devices might even come with support out of the box.