Starbucks introduces wireless phone charging at UK cafés

Rollout will begin in London — though your phone probably doesn’t have the technology

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The Independent Tech

Starbucks is introducing wireless charging in its cafés in the UK, initially rolling out the service in London.

It follows the introduction of similar technology in McDonald’s, and allows people to charge up their phone without plugging them in. Charging plates will be built into tables so that phones can be left on them to charge.

Starbucks has already rolled out the service in the US. It was initially launched in a similarly small amount of stores, but is now being brought to over 2,000 locations.

The service is the result of a tie-up with Powermat to use its PMA wireless charging points. But most phones with the technology use the Qi charging standard instead, and many don’t have the feature at all.

Starbucks will provide dongles for people with phones that can’t work with the small charging plates. The small metal loops plug into the charging port at the bottom of the phone and provide juice through there.

Initially the dongles will be freely available in the ten central London Starbucks that are kicking off the plan. They can also be bought for £10.

Starbucks hopes to keep it that way, but Engadget suggests that if too many people still the dongles they might have to move to charge people for using them.

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