TECH

Starbucks Wireless Charging For Phones Built Into Tables UK Stores

21/01/2015 09:30 GMT | Updated 21/01/2015 09:59 GMT

Starbucks has introduced wireless charging tables to select London shops, allowing customers with compatible phones and those with a new wireless 'ring' to charge their iPhones and smartphones.

The custom-designed Powermat tables include 'mats' which sit flush within the table. It's free to use and for those that don't have a phone with the technology included, Starbucks will be selling or loaning the Powermat 'ring' - a small dongle which plugs into the smartphone or tablet, allowing them to charge their phones.

There will be an initial run of 10 locations, after which Starbucks will consider rolling out to the rest of the UK.

starbucks wireless dongle

This isn't the first time that Starbucks has introduced the technology, in fact the wireless charging tables are soon to become the standard across all of Starbucks' US stores.

The move has been made to compliment US network AT&T's promise that soon all of its smartphones will need to offer wireless charging.

What's really interesting about the Powermat isn't that it'll spawn a new generation of hipsters with weird rings on the bottom of their phones, it's that the technology is completely scaleable. As in, it will soon be able to power a laptop too.

As Powermat's Global VP of Communications Scott Eisentein pointed out, "We could power a fridge if we wanted to".

While it's unlikely that his particular example will ever catch on, Eisentein refused to rule out the possibility of scaling the technology for laptops, potentially creating a very unique situation in Starbucks.

starbucks laptop

This idea does have one obvious flaw though.

Go in right now and the laws of probability will tell you that there is at least one person with a MacBook sat in the corner, surrounded by books and looking at Facebook. And taking up the last remaining seat in the store.

Currently ruled by the geographical location of plug sockets or the battery life of their gadget, these people are in a constant state of limbo, neither at work, nor at home but always, always on Facebook. Or Tumblr. The problem is that in this future of wireless power, Starbucks customers might never leave. Presumably, though, that's the idea.