Starbucks Adds 'Juice'

Rolling out wireless charging nationwide in deal with Duracell Powermat

Published in CSP Daily News

SEATTLE & NEW YORK -- Caffeine will not be the only thing providing a jolt at Starbucks coffeehouses. Starbucks and Duracell Powermat announced on Thursday that they have begun a national rollout of Powermat wireless charging in Starbucks locations beginning in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The companies will expand Powermat to additional major markets in 2015, with a full national rollout in Starbucks company-operated stores and Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bars planned over time. They expect to conduct pilots in Europe and Asia within the year.

"Rather than hunting around for an available power outlet, [customers] can seamlessly charge their device while enjoying their favorite food or beverage offering right in our stores," said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer at Starbucks. "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."

Stores will be equipped with "Powermat Spots"--designated areas on tables and counters where customers can place their compatible device and charge wirelessly. Select Starbucks stores in Boston and San Jose, Calif., offer Powermat today and the broader rollout can be tracked at www.powermat.com/locations.

"Powermat Spots in Starbucks are the result of almost a decade of scientific research spanning material sciences, magnetic induction and mesh networking," said Ran Poliakine, CEO of Powermat Technologies. "The two-pronged power-plug dates back to the era of the horse-drawn carriage, so that today's announcement marks the first meaningful upgrade to the way we access power in well over a century."

"Starbucks is a highly regarded global brand and its decision to rollout a Powermat network is both empowering and transformative for consumers and the mobile industry as a whole," said Jeff Howard, vice president of mobile devices and accessories for AT&T Mobility. "Many of our newer devices have compatible technology either embedded or available as an added feature to give consumers the freedom to charge wirelessly. Today's announcement marks an important time for our customers--they will have the freedom to stay charged effortlessly in Starbucks stores nationwide over time."

"Starbucks is transforming the way consumers get power to their phones, in much the same way it made WiFi a standard amenity in public places. This endeavor is a critical step in Duracell's vision to make dead battery anxiety a thing of the past," said Stassi Anastassov, president of Duracell at Procter & Gamble. "When Starbucks introduced WiFi in their stores in 2001, 95% of devices didn't have WiFi, and multiple standards hampered the industry. The rest is history. Starbucks plans to offer Powermat nationally is likely to settle any lingering standards question, and usher wireless power into the mainstream."

Duracell Powermat is the joint venture between Procter & Gamble's Duracell brand and Powermat Technologies.

Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee Co. offers coffees, cold-blended beverages, a variety of complementary food items, a selection of premium teas and beverage-related accessories and equipment, primarily through about 7,000 U.S. company-operated retail stores. It also sells coffee and tea products and licenses its trademark through other channels such as licensed retail stores and, through certain of its licensees and equity investees, Starbucks produces and sells a variety of ready-to-drink beverages.

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