Here's something to keep in mind the next time you're ordering a venti frappuccino: Starting this year, Starbucks will be building Powermat wireless chargers into its tables and counters, meaning anyone with a compatible wireless charging case or ring (pictured below) can charge their Samsung or iPhone without having to lug around the power cord. All you have to do is put your phone down next to it.
The Powermat installations will start--where else?--in San Francisco soon, while a nationwide rollout is set for 2015. "2014 will be focused mainly on the West Coast, but 2015 will see expansions to major metropolises across the United States," Powermat president Daniel Schreiber told The Verge.
Inductive charging--which uses an electromagnetic field to share a charge between devices--isn't exactly new, but an industry standard still has yet to be established. In fact, some have cogently argued that wireless charging will never fully replace the old-school method. To that end, Powermat has been vying with Qi wireless for the right to charge your gadgets without touching them, and securing a partnership with a national chain like Starbucks certainly seems like a nice little victory.