Starting today, you might want to start taking a closer look at your table at Starbucks – at some point this year, you might just find an integrated wireless charging mat. Powermat has partnered up with Starbucks to bring wireless charging mats to Starbucks locations across the United States this year, which is awesome but ever-so-slightly frustrating.
The implementation will be slick – the mats will be built right into the tables, so they won’t be an obstacle if you don’t need them. The only sticking point is that Powermat uses the Power Matters Alliance charging standard, not the Qi wireless charging standard. I’m willing to bet eyes are rolling already – yes, another standard war. Unfortunately, tons of Android and Windows Phones have built-in Qi technology, while PMA is currently built into – well, just about zero devices. You’ll need a PMA-compatible smartphone case or a charging ring you can plug into your phone to use the Powermat for wireless charging.
That said, there’s nothing that says that PMA technology won’t show up in the smartphones and tablets of the near future – maybe Starbucks is just ahead of the curve on this one. Suppose it wouldn’t be the first time.