Starbucks stores to offer wireless charging for smartphones

Smartphones, too, will someday be able to get a jolt at Starbucks.

The coffee giant is expected to announce Thursday the rollout of wireless charging stations on tabletops and counters across its U.S. empire. The joint effort with Duracell Powermat has begun in the San Francisco Bay Area and is expected to reach other major markets in 2015.

Eventually all Starbucks stores operated by the company, as well as its Teavana tea bars, will offer wireless charging, the company said.

The move comes in the midst of a major bid by Starbucks to draw people into its stores at different times of the day-- and not only for coffee, but breakfast, lunch and tea time, and in some locations, wine and beer in the evenings.

It also highlights Starbucks’ knack for harnessing information technology trends to its advantage. The coffee chain was one of the first widespread adopters of WiFi, and recently it has eagerly embraced smartphone payments, which it has sought to weave into a comprehensive program of rewards and gift cards.

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