Wireless charging comes to the masses thanks to Starbucks

No more carrying a charger with you everywhere you go. No more scrambling to find a charging cable that fits your device. Wireless charging is finally going to go mainstream thanks to Starbucks.

There have been two major obstacles to wireless charging in the last few years. The first is the competing standards. Most consumers are reluctant to adopt new technology while the standards are still in question. Choosing the wrong technology leads to expensive, obsolete devices and gadgets.

The second has been the practicality of it–especially as a function of the cost. It’s a cool concept, but has little real-world value if the only way you can take advantage of it is to buy your own wireless charging station and use it at your home or office, where it would have been just as simple to just plug the device in and charge it the old-fashioned way.

Having semi-ubiquitous access to wireless charging stations on every corner thanks to Starbucks will definitely address the second concern, and the traction gained as a result will most likely solve the first one as well.

I wrote about the Starbucks news for Forbes:

A few years ago I took a look at the various emerging wireless charging technologies. It seems like the more mobile and “wireless” our technology gets, the more wires we actually need in the form of various proprietary charging cables. Wireless charging is an intriguing concept, and I felt like it had a lot of potential even back in 2011, but three years later nothing much has changed, and it hasn’t gained much traction. Starbucks is getting ready to change that, though, and make wireless charging mainstream.

Starbucks announced that it plans to install Powermat wireless charging stations in stores throughout the US. The news follows a lengthy—but limited—test of the wireless charging stations in a handful of stores in and around Boston.

At the time that I reviewed the wireless charging technologies in early 2011, I noted that the primary key to the long term success of wireless charging would be standardization. Qi—a wireless charging technology backed by some big names, including Samsung, Sony, HTC, and Nokia—seemed to have the momentum and support to emerge as the dominant wireless charging standard. I even went so far as to say, “As long as charging systems such as the Powermat work only with their own proprietary hardware, the concept will continue to be a niche novelty.”…

Read the full article at Forbes: Starbucks Could Finally Make Wireless Charging Mainstream.

Let me know what you think in the comments. Have you used (or do you use) wireless charging? Do you think you’re more likely to try it out if you know there will be wireless charging stations at all of the Starbucks?

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