The stereotype of a Starbucks customer is a hipster with a mobile phone in hand taking an Instagram photo of a soy latte. Now the popular coffee shop is making it easier for mobile phone users by installing wireless charging mats in locations nationwide.  The company is partnering with battery maker Duracell to install Duracell Powermat wireless chargers in stores all around the country.

The charging stations will be going into stores in the San Francisco first, then expand to other larger cities next year and eventually to all Starbucks and Teavanna locations.

Starbucks has been a leader with mobile users. It was one of the first national chains to offer WiFi in its stores back in 2001 and also to offer mobile payment options to customers.

The stores will have Powermat Spots – designated areas on tables and counters where customers can place devices capable of wireless charging and allow them to charge while they enjoy their coffee or food.

Ron Poliakine, from Powermat said, “Powermat Spots in Starbucks are the result of almost a decade of scientific research spanning material sciences, magnetic induction and mesh networking. ” He added that,  “The two-pronged power-plug dates back to the era of the horse drawn carriage, so that today’s announcement marks the first meaningful upgrade to the way we access power in well over a century.”

Duracell hopes that this partnership with Starbucks will help settle a single standard for wireless charging and push wireless charging into the mainstream.

You can track which locations offer the wireless charging by licking here. You can also sign up to be notified when wireless charging comes to your area.

If this proves to be popular, you may soon see charging mats turning up as standard equipment on restaurant tables in the not-so-distant future. That may dash any hopes that people will put away their phones while eating and actually talk to each other, but I have to admit, it would come in handy.

~ Cynthia