Starbucks is no longer only about intricate new ways not to drink your coffee black with two sugars. They have moved beyond the insanely calorific and quite frankly fantastic tasting beverages, if you like sweet and milkshakey, which I do, and moved into super internet café territory. They provide great functioning Wi-Fi connectivity, free app vouchers, access to the NY Times website and now low and behold: wireless charging when you need it the most. (Smartphone users everywhere know how fast the devices are depleted of their juice and how welcome it is to have a spot where you can recharge the phone’s battery and your own simultaneously.) According to Starbucks themselves: they are your home away from home, because they have Wi-Fi and wireless charging. (However they don’t want just anybody to use their services. You must have either: iphone 4, 4S, 5 or a Samsung Galaxy S III.)
Today Duracell Powermat, the partner of Starbucks in this whole wireless charging concept, has announced that the recharging devices will be installed in a number of Starbucks locations all across Silicon Valley. (Definitely the place to be one might say, however we not so technically evolved people for sure would enjoy this new feature as well.) The Powermats are not randomly placed throughout the Starbucks locations, so there is no need to worry about people stealing your electronic baby, because the wireless charging docks are fitted directly to the tables.
However Duracell has yet to incorporate their PMA system, Powers Matters Alliance, in every possible smart phone. As of this moment they sell them with certified devices and separately for iphone 4, 4S, 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III. Duracell has not made a statement yet regarding this issue and why they want exclusivity. Therefore, this project might not see the light of day on a more national scale or even globally, unless, Duracell decides to widen the net and provide the service for other companies as well. Starbucks provides your new home away from home, because they have Wi-Fi and wireless charging. (However, You must have either: iphone 4, 4S, 5 or a Samsung Galaxy S III.)
Adam Brotman, Starbucks Coffee Company chief digital officer, said: “We know that our customers use our cafés in a number of ways beyond buying coffee. For some, it’s their home office, for others it’s their place to get away and have some time to themselves. More and more customers are using Starbucks as their home base and they are looking to recharge in a number of ways.”
Apple stores have stepped in sooner related to the charging issues of smartphones and ipads. They have no problems with consumers walking into their store and charging their devices. (They even welcome it.) They might need to consider starting their own brand of coffee: icafé or just to team up with Starbucks. However, this might also pose problems for consumers who own different brand devices. What is your take on the matter? Are you thrilled about the new developments? Do you think Starbucks could be your home away from home, because they have wireless charging, Wi-Fi and more? Or do you feel like it’s all just a marketing ploy? Shouldn’t the batteries of the smartphones last longer? Most of the time the companies are obsessed with more memory, bigger screens, more pixels etc. But shouldn’t the most important thing be: that you are actually able to use your phone without worrying about the possibility it might be without juice and therefore you can’t even make an emergency phone call?
By Georgina Pijttersen