Here’s How Starbucks Will Power You Up

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is once again demonstrating its unrivaled commitment to the customer experience. In case free Wi-Fi and premium coffee weren’t enough to keep customers coming back, the company is piloting wireless charging technology at 17 of its Boston-area stores.

Starbucks is partnering with Duracell — a Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) brand — for the roll out of the Duracell Powermat, inductive wireless charging technology that Starbucks will install in participating counter tops. Duracell Powermat, for its part, sells wireless charging pads that support between one and three devices.

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“Customers are coming into our stores every day with mobile devices, and putting them down on the table. If they could be charging their device at the same time, then we’ve connected with the customer and met their need, maybe even before they realized they had a need for wireless charging,” said Starbucks chief digital officer Adam Brotman, to Boston.com.

With the initiative, Starbucks joins companies like AT&T (NYSE:T) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) as a member of the Power Matters Alliance, an industry organization working on wireless charging standards.

“We are always looking for ways to help our customers recharge, both literally and figuratively,” said Brotman. “Wireless charging is not only the most convenient and simple way to recharge a mobile device, but it’s environmentally friends — so it makes perfect sense for us to be working with the PMA to create a universal standard for wireless charging.”

As it stands, most phones require a special adapter to be plugged into the mini-USB port in order to receive wireless charging. Starbucks will have a limited number of adapters for customer use.

Launched in September, Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) Lumia 920 was the first commercial smartphone to support wireless charging. The Nexus 4, slated for release on November 13, will have built-in wireless charging compatibility.

Duracell Powermat sells special cases for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4/4s, and Samsung’s Galaxy S III that make the phones compatible with any Duracell Powermat wireless charger.

Starbucks’s endorsement of the PMA could go a long way for the group. The coffee giant’s relationship with Square helped catapult the mobile payment processor to the top of its game. A nation-wide roll out at Starbucks could pick a winner for wireless charging standards.

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