AT&T, Google and Starbucks join wireless power standards group PMA

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AT&T, Google and Starbucks are the latest companies to announce they’ve joined the Power Matters Alliance (PMA). The PMA, founded by Powermat Technologies and Proctor & Gamble (the parent company of Duracell), is a standards group intent on creating wireless power standards for smartphones and other devices using IEEE guidelines.

PMA is one of a handful of standards groups vying to lead the charge (no pun intended) in terms of wireless power. Other notable groups include the Alliance for Wireless Power (also supported by Powermat) and the Wireless Power Consortium. The latter is putting its efforts behind Qi (pronounced “chee”, the Chinese word for energy flow), a standard that companies like HTC, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung have already committed to.

Starbucks is planning to conduct a pilot program in select coffee shops this holiday season. 17 Boston-area stores will be equipped with Duracell Powermat wireless charging stations that will allow customers to “recharge, both literally and figuratively”, said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer for Starbucks.

Participating stores will have eight or so charging stations. Customers with specially-equipped handsets are encouraged to charge their phones as they sip on a cup of Joe. Starbucks will lend customers adapters to use in the event they don’t already have the necessary equipment for inductive magnetic wireless charging.

Three stores in the area are offering the complementary service as of today, located at 101 Federal Street, One Financial Center and 125 Summer Street in Boston. Charging stations are expected to be installed at other area locations over the coming weeks.

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