Starbucks to bring wireless charging to Europe

Starbucks is to introduce wireless charging stations across Europe to try and increase the length of time people spend in its outlets.

Customers will be able to charge their phones wirelessly from docking stations.

The coffee chain expects initial pilots in Europe and Asia to take place over the next year as it makes the service mainstream in the US. It announced plans to introduce wireless charging to Starbucks and Teavana Tea stores yesterday (12 June), beginning in San Francisco before expanding to its 7,000-plus stores in 2015.

The wireless charging docks, designed in conjunction with Procter & Gamble’s Duracell Powermat, appear on coasters found on tables and counters. To use the system, customers will need to have a wireless charging-enabled device or an accessory with the capability. Starbucks will also sell small reusable rings that customers can attach to their mobile devices to charge through magnetic induction

Adam Brotman, chief digital officer at Starbucks, says the launch takes customer convenience to the “next level”. The move is the latest attempt from the company to enhance the customer experience in the hope that they will purchase more the longer their dwell time.

Brotman adds: “Rather than hunting around for an available power outlet, they can seamlessly charge their device while enjoying their favorite food or beverage offering right in our stores.

“We were pleased with the customer response to the pilot tests, and we’re now expanding this offering nationally to provide our customers a quality and reliable experience as they use our stores as their respite, their office away from home or as a gathering place with their friends and family.”

Starbucks play could go some way toward establishing a charging standard across multiple phone providers, which has been mired by differing solutions from different vendors. The coffee chain’s reach could generate mass exposure for Duracell Powermat with the provider hoping the success of the chain’s early move to supply Wi-Fi in its outlets repeats itself.

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