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iPhone users can wirelessly recharge at Starbucks via 100K Duracell Powermats coming to coffee chain

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
Mega coffee chain Starbucks on Thursday announced a new partnership with Duracell that will see wireless charging stations based on the latter's Powermat technology rolled out to every Starbucks and Teavana location in the U.S. over the next two years.




Starbucks will equip its San Francisco locations with Powermat stations this year, expanding to "additional major markets" and Teavana outlets in 2015. The company did not offer a time frame to complete the national rollout, but did say that pilots in Europe and Asia would begin later this year.

The coffee chain plans to utilize some 100,000 Powermats at its approximately 7,500 locations once the rollout is finished.

iPhone owners can take advantage of the stations by ensconcing their handset in one of Duracell's charging cases. A snap-on case will set users back $34.49, while a model that includes a backup battery can currently be had for $73.38

"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 executive Adam Brotman said in a release.

The move represents perhaps the largest-ever rollout of wireless charging stations, though the choice of technologies is somewhat odd. Very few devices support Powermat, with most manufacturers siding instead with the competing Qi standard for wireless power solutions.
post #2 of 79
It's gonna suck it apples some other kind of wireless charging and if this can only be done with a case , a 2 year roll out seems like a long time
post #3 of 79
I'm hoping iphone 6 has integrated wireless charging
post #4 of 79

Would seem to make more sense to have unobtrusive 30-pin and Lightning connectors at each seat/table, so all iPhone users could take advantage, not just the handful that own a Duracell case???

 

Hard to see many iPhone users swayed towards a Duracall case just because they can now wirelessly charge at a Starbucks.

post #5 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

I'm hoping iphone 6 has integrated wireless charging
Don't get your hopes up, iPhone 5 and lighting hinted you probably got another 8 years till such a standard is usefull(going to Starbucks with the new cases isn't really usefull.
post #6 of 79

This is the strongest indication the iPhone 6 will have wireless charging. 

post #7 of 79

Stupid idea in my opinion. Why not power up a lot of USB jacks and AC outlets at all the seating locations? It would cost less, charge faster and not require a bulky expensive wireless charging case. Oh, and why not serve some higher quality coffee while you are at it?Hubbell-USB-Charger-Receptacle.jpg


Edited by mstone - 6/12/14 at 8:07am

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post #8 of 79
Would rather see Apple offer wireless charging. I've yet to go that route because I've heard too many "not supported" issues. If it isn't Apple, it isn't on my phone. Hate to sound hipster, but spend this much on a phone and accessories and I expect them to work.
post #9 of 79

I anticipate a lot of empty Powermats sitting unused.

post #10 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

Stupid idea in my opinion. Why not power up a lot of USB jacks and AC outlets at all the seating locations? It would cost less, charge faster and not require a bulky expensive wireless charging case. Oh, and why not serve some higher quality coffee while you are at it?Hubbell-USB-Charger-Receptacle.jpg

 

That would work great for everyone actually. 

 

Where in SoCal? 

post #11 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

Stupid idea in my opinion. Why not power up a lot of USB jacks and AC outlets at all the seating locations? It would cost less, charge faster and not require a bulky expensive wireless charging case.

 

yep

post #12 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post
 
Where in SoCal? 

I have a house in Irvine, but I don't live there full time. I split my time about 50/50 between US and Panama and schedule it to get the best weather in each location. So right now I'm in the states while it is poring rain in Central America.

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post #13 of 79

I understand the 'service' Starbucks is trying to provide, but I believe its misguided based on past practice. Many of us in the business community use to go to Starbucks on a break, 3-4 together, to have a coffee & decompress for a few minutes. However, due to all the outlets, many, mostly students, were camped there for hours & hours, one or 2 people taking up an entire table for 4. No space available for even one person to sit to wolf down an oatmeal or sandwich,  so many & most of us started going else ware.

 

If I ran the shop, this would be my policies:

 

No outlets. Show up with a charged laptop, if your battery dies, haste la vista, baby. A Mac boasts 8-12hr battery life. Hundreds of customers could have sat at that table in the course of a day.

 

Wifi-Your receipt would have a unique wifi code for 30-60 minute access. Need more time, gonna be there awhile, make another purchase, get a new code. A $1.50 cup of coffee, 'entitling' you sit there & tie up a table is selfish & doesn't contribute to the greater good, no matter how important you are, or how great you will become, completing your work at that sitting, to the immediate detriment of others.

 

The new, proposed charging station....20 minutes max. The system should be able to detect the particular phone, & after the 20 minutes, it can't be recharged unless 3 hours has elapsed.

 

The above policies would eliminate the need for employees to have to confront the often loud & entitled person who would often otherwise protest being asked to leave because they were already there 6hrs, getting free refills.  "That's it, you've lost me as a customer." Really!

post #14 of 79

I'm pretty certain this won't cost Starbucks a dime (other than electricity bills). Duracell is almost certainly giving them the pads for free to compete with the Qi standard which a ton of Android devices already support.

 

If the only way to use this is to slap a case on the phone, unless Starbucks also sells the cases (which they vey well might), there's going to be a lot of empty terminals.

 

Are they going to sell cases for the top-selling Android devices as well?

post #15 of 79
Rumor is iPhone 7 will have wireless charging.
post #16 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellya74u View Post
 

No outlets. Show up with a charged laptop, if your battery dies, haste la vista, baby. A Mac boasts 8-12hr battery life. Hundreds of customers could have sat at that table in the course of a day.

Sort of depends on the location. If you are near campus, totally, but near the airport, or other transportation center, or near tourist destinations as well, outlets would be nice to have.

 

I have a friend who owns some high end coffee restaurants and he doesn't have outlets or even wi-fi. He is trying to create a more social environment, encouraging people to engage in conversation, so in that regard, he doesn't really care how long people stay. The longer the better for his business model.

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post #17 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbsmd View Post

I'm pretty certain this won't cost Starbucks a dime (other than electricity bills). Duracell is almost certainly giving them the pads for free to compete with the Qi standard which a ton of Android devices already support.

If the only way to use this is to slap a case on the phone, unless Starbucks also sells the cases (which they vey well might), there's going to be a lot of empty terminals.

Are they going to sell cases for the top-selling Android devices as well?

That sounds like a reasonable hypothesis to me. Make the profit on the customers with cash to burn.

Do they make cases for other brands or do any other brands work with these mats?

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post #18 of 79
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Originally Posted by wubbus View Post

Would seem to make more sense to have unobtrusive 30-pin and Lightning connectors at each seat/table, so all iPhone users could take advantage, not just the handful that own a Duracell case???

But then they have the safety issue of cables all around, plus how do they secure them so that someone can't swipe it. What about pissing off folks that use non iPhones. They will get nagged at to have connectors for those also. And if they are secured that means having to have tons of outlets wired up for all of it. And so on
Quote:
Hard to see many iPhone users swayed towards a Duracall case just because they can now wirelessly charge at a Starbucks.
You can bet that Duracell is paying for part of the set up costs on this. Hoping it will help to get folks onto their backup battery case and not Mophie, plus if they don't already they will release a home use mat real soon and will be hoping that folks will buy it also.

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post #19 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I have a friend who owns some high end coffee restaurants and he doesn't have outlets or even wi-fi. He is trying to create a more social environment, encouraging people to engage in conversation, so in that regard, he doesn't really care how long people stay. The longer the better for his business model.

I'm at Starbucks right now and I'm socializing with you. 1wink.gif

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post #20 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post

Don't get your hopes up, iPhone 5 and lighting hinted you probably got another 8 years till such a standard is usefull(going to Starbucks with the new cases isn't really usefull.

I could see Apple supporting both wired and wireless charging tech in upcoming devices. There's talk of patents for solar charging as well. Eventually all three, even perhaps some kind of kinetic charging could be in Apple devices. Might be a killer feature to have a variety of charging methods.

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post #21 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by wubbus View Post
 

Would seem to make more sense to have unobtrusive 30-pin and Lightning connectors at each seat/table, so all iPhone users could take advantage, not just the handful that own a Duracell case???

 

Hard to see many iPhone users swayed towards a Duracall case just because they can now wirelessly charge at a Starbucks.

 

Even better to have USB power outlets to charge any type of device. Bringing your own cable isn't that bad as there are quite a few compact options like keychain and credit card type adaptors. I see two potential issues with this.

 

First, I want to hold and use my phone when drinking coffee at Starbucks and I suspect others do too.

 

Second, this will cause some people to walk off and forget their phones. 

post #22 of 79

Thank you mstone! Seriously, the idea of wireless charging is so freaking stupid. Why does everyone seem obsessed with this dumb idea? Just plug the damn phone into the connector and continue to use it normally without being glued to a mat or forced to use it in a table-top position. The only thing more stupid than this idea is wireless charging in the car, GOD!!!

 

Imagine how idiotic it would be to actually talk on the phone with your head down to a charging mat? Not that anyone ever uses phones to converse anymore, but seriously, can you all just stop this nonsense? Just put USB/AC power—many of them—at every table etc. like this:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

Stupid idea in my opinion. Why not power up a lot of USB jacks and AC outlets at all the seating locations? It would cost less, charge faster and not require a bulky expensive wireless charging case. Oh, and why not serve some higher quality coffee while you are at it?Hubbell-USB-Charger-Receptacle.jpg

post #23 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Stupid idea in my opinion. Why not power up a lot of USB jacks and AC outlets at all the seating locations? It would cost less, charge faster and not require a bulky expensive wireless charging case. Oh, and why not serve some higher quality coffee while you are at it?Hubbell-USB-Charger-Receptacle.jpg

What's the amps on that? I've found that anything below 1.5 will not charge fast enough especially if you're using the device.
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post #24 of 79
Meanwhile, everyone who uses this gets cancer; effectively getting slowly microwaved. I think this is a stupid idea.
post #25 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

I'm hoping iphone 6 has integrated wireless charging

I'm hoping iPhone 6 has integrated Android, Tizen, NFC, KFC, PVC, TLC, DVD, BPA, DED, and every other kitchen sink feature built in, so I can impress my friends. Wait, did I say iPhone 6? I meant Samsung Galaxy S6: Now with more more.

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post #26 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by wubbus View Post

Would seem to make more sense to have unobtrusive 30-pin and Lightning connectors at each seat/table, so all iPhone users could take advantage, not just the handful that own a Duracell case???

Hard to see many iPhone users swayed towards a Duracall case just because they can now wirelessly charge at a Starbucks.

Perhaps it was Duracell's plan all along. And it's not a bad plan.

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post #27 of 79

I adopted a good idea from someone else, for use at airports, but it applies to Starbucks. Bring with you a 6-8  plug power strip. That way, if you are one of the lucky ones to actually get an outlet, you can share it, as opposed to, 'I've got mine, too bad, so sad, sucks to be you (without one).' The power strip fits at the bottom of my computer bag & allows me to charge my iPhone ,iPad & laptop for 20 mins, while offering power to others. The only down side  might be, if you had 5 others plugged onto your power strip & vacate, you leave the one outlet for them to decide who gets it. If computer users showed up at Starbucks with power strips, how many more 'customers' could they fit in the store, to stand there while they eat their lunch & charge their gear.

post #28 of 79
Stupidest fucking idea I've ever heard. I'm not planning to put my phone in a shitty Duracell case, nor are many others.
post #29 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

This is the strongest indication the iPhone 6 will have wireless charging. 

Or that Duracell said to Starbucks: "we got this idea to increase adoption of our power mats, and you get to offer your customers a new service."

Assume Apple doesn't share its secrets with ANYONE.

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post #30 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I have a friend who owns some high end coffee restaurants and he doesn't have outlets or even wi-fi. He is trying to create a more social environment, encouraging people to engage in conversation, so in that regard, he doesn't really care how long people stay. The longer the better for his business model.

I'm at Starbucks right now and I'm socializing with you. 1wink.gif

But this communication that we have does not in any way help to project a welcoming and friendly social environment at the restaurant which is what my friend is trying to do at his. All people see at Starbucks is intellectually isolated, unapproachable, headphone wearing, social media texters, not exactly inviting if you are trying to make your restaurant a community gathering place.

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post #31 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

What's the amps on that? I've found that anything below 1.5 will not charge fast enough especially if you're using the device.

USB 3 Amp, 5VDC

 

USB 1.1/2.0/3.0 devices, including Apple Products

 

Complies with USB BC1.2

 

Meets UL94 for 5V flammability rating

 

Full Load Current - 3.23A per hour

 

Full Load Watts - 19.7W per hour

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post #32 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

But this communication that we have does not in any way help to project a welcoming and friendly social environment at the restaurant which is what my friend is trying to do at his. All people see at Starbucks is intellectually isolated, unapproachable, headphone wearing, social media texters, not exactly inviting if you are trying to make your restaurant a community gathering place.

I see your point but I can, with extreme accuracy, say that conversing with you in text form from across the globe is considerably more thought provoking and engaging than what I was hearing around me.

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post #33 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellya74u View Post
 

I adopted a good idea from someone else, for use at airports, but it applies to Starbucks. Bring with you a 6-8  plug power strip. That way, if you are one of the lucky ones to actually get an outlet, you can share it, as opposed to, 'I've got mine, too bad, so sad, sucks to be you (without one).' The power strip fits at the bottom of my computer bag & allows me to charge my iPhone ,iPad & laptop for 20 mins, while offering power to others. The only down side  might be, if you had 5 others plugged onto your power strip & vacate, you leave the one outlet for them to decide who gets it. ....

 

Or, I use a Mophie case, and a 10k mAh battery pack with a 3 foot USB extension cord in my bag and keep walking and charging to wherever you are going without needing an outlet at all.

post #34 of 79


Two years is not bad when you think about it. All of the tables in each location will need to be replaced and/or modified to accept the mats and the power requirements. A time-consuming and expensive process that the franchisees will need to finance. I would prefer just a USB or AC outlet at each position. That way anybody can use them without regard to the case on the phone. I understand why Duracell wants to be there. Not sure how Starbucks would benefit. I would venture to say the most people don't have compatible cases and wouldn't use them anyway.

post #35 of 79

The narcissism is beyond anything you can imagine. People sit at SB for hours on end, working on huge spreads of god knows what. It's not unusual to see one person sitting at a table for four, papers spread out, laptop atop the entire mess. A home away from home. Hard-working people with important jobs, obviously.

 

I'm being facetious but I wonder if these are the same people who jog on major roads in the rain...

post #36 of 79
Should really add the official video to the article: http://youtu.be/aXbI36WdM4A
post #37 of 79

I've been using a Duracell Powermat case on my iPhone for several months. The Powermat mats and accessories were extremely expensive, but now it looks like it's all on fire sale on ebay. This is probably their last-ditch effort to stay relevant; the technology is sound, slightly better than Qi (it uses positioning magnets, a nice feature) -- but unlike Qi it's not built into any devices and cannot be added to any device without also adding bulk (Qi is built into Nexus 4 and can be added to Samsung Galaxy and Note phones via an inexpensive internal tag or a replacement back cover).

Finally, the Duracell Powermat iPhone cases SUCK. They're expensive, their design is ridiculous, and they offer only very marginal protection to the phone. BUT... having said that, I must admit I'm addicted to wireless charging, and I wish it were natively available on my iPhone.

post #38 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

I have a friend who owns some high end coffee restaurants and he doesn't have outlets or even wi-fi. He is trying to create a more social environment, encouraging people to engage in conversation, so in that regard, he doesn't really care how long people stay. The longer the better for his business model.

 

That's dumb. When I go to spend long periods of time at a coffee shop, I'm ALWAYS there to do work or study on my laptop.

 

I never go to a coffee shop just to socialize with random strangers.

 

Kudo to him for letting people loiter though, that's legit.

post #39 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


What's the amps on that? I've found that anything below 1.5 will not charge fast enough especially if you're using the device.

Also - i bought two similar products (not exactly the same - but very close) and the whistling from the built in switcher on both was awful. I tried to live with it - but the wife would not - (whistled differently but just as bad under load as off load)

post #40 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post
 

This is the strongest indication the iPhone 6 will have wireless charging. 

More an indication Duracell is having hard time getting their version accepted so they offered a deal to Starbucks that Starbucks couldn't refuse....

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