Smartphones are as important as they’ve ever been in our day to day lives, and keeping them going has proven a tricky task at times – until now.
Two of the world’s biggest franchises are unveiling wireless charging capabilities in UK stores, giving smartphone users reason to smile as their batteries recharge.
McDonalds and Starbucks are the two franchises of note that are set to feature the technology here in Britain, both using separate technologies.
McDonalds has opted for the built-in Qi wireless charging kit, which means that users won’t need to use any extra accessories to charge their phones, but does restrict the list of compatible devices.
The likes of the Google Nexus 6 and Nokia Lumia 930 are two of the most popular devices in the UK with the technology built-in, but handsets like the iPhone 6 and other more common handsets won’t work with the system.
Big-time coffee chain Starbucks are pleasing the crowds however, by introducing Powermat technology in their stores, which does require an added ‘ring’ accessory which can be borrowed from stores or even bought for £10 with your coffee.
The adaptor can fit into any number of devices, including old and new iPhones, and simply requires you to plug it in and then rest the phone on the wireless charging area.
Both versions of the feature vary largely in their delivery, but essentially do the same job, with McDonalds’ style more likely to find success as more devices pack the hardware to make their style work.
McDonalds is betting big with its wireless charging rollout, opting to introduce 600 charging points within approximately 50 restaurants across the UK.
Starbucks however, is trialling its service on a more limited basis by bringing the service to just 10 London-based stores, with a larger rollout dependant on its success.
The US market seems to have embraced the technology a bit faster than us in the UK, with cities like San Francisco proving good testing grounds on the West coast.
As the service does pick up here, it should manage to build a head of steam, much like the contactless technology and Wi-Fi hotspots, both of which were trialled slowly before launching nationwide.
Some other places in the UK do feature the service already, whilst Virgin Atlantic is planning on installing compatible kit at Heathrow airport.
For now it looks as though wireless charging could finally be making some waves here in the UK, we’ll simply have to wait while it spreads and eventually becomes a more common service.
Written by Luke Hatfield