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Starbucks Tests Wireless Charging Stations

Customers will need a special sleeve to charge devices


Starbucks coffee stocksVisitors to some Starbucks (SBUX) locations will be able to do more than buy coffee and snacks starting in August.

The coffee shop chain is adding wireless charging units for mobile devices to ten locations in California’s Silicon Valley. In doing so, Starbucks is siding with one of several competing wireless charging standards, AllThingsD notes.

Starbucks Banking on Beer and Yogurt
Starbucks Banking on Beer and Yogurt

In order to take advantage of the wireless charging service, consumers will need special sleeves that allow their devices to charge when placed on Powermat chargers. The company has partnered with Procter & Gamble‘s (PG) Duracell to distribute the sleeves to customers at shops offering the service.

Wireless chargers at participating Starbucks locations will use technology that conforms to the Power Matters Alliance (PMA). PMA’s primary competitor is theWireless Power Consortium’s Qi standard, backed by Nokia (NOK) and other mobile manufacturers.

Backing by a retailer of Starbucks’ size could tilt the contest to see which wireless charging standard ultimately gains market acceptance in PMA’s favor.

Starbucks teamed with Duracell to test wireless charging pads at a small number of locations in Boston and New York City earlier this year.

Shares of Starbucks rose modestly in pre-market trading on Tuesday.

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