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printed November 19, 2017
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Powermat to Upgrade Starbucks Charging Mats to Support iPhone X

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Sep 14, 2017, 11:47 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Powermat, which has deployed PMA-compliant wireless chargers at thousands of Starbucks locations around the U.S., plans to update its charging pads to support the iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone 8 from Apple. At the moment, there are two competing wireless charging standards, PMA and Qi. Handsets from Samsung and others typically support PMA, though some (Galaxy S8, Note8) support both PMA and Qi. Apple's new iPhones support only the Qi standard, which makes them incompatible with the wireless chargers at Starbucks. Speaking to Slashgear, Powermat CTO Itay Sherman explained that its Starbucks charging pads are connected to its cloud. This gives Powermat the ability to update them when necessary. "If there's a new standard, a new variant of the standard — you have PMA, you have Qi, you have Samsung’s Wireless Fast Charging — we can download new software to our points and support them," said Sherman to Slashgear. "The biggest difference between PMA and Qi is the communication protocols. We designed a controller which is software programable so we can integrate new communication protocols on this platform." Further, Powermat "designed the magnetic part to be as generic as possible to cover all standards if possible." Sherman did not say how quickly it will be able to update its Starbucks Powermat chargers with support for Qi, and conceded it will rely in part on the individual venues in question. This upgrade will not impact stand-alone, consumer Powermat chargers, which will remain limited to the PMA standard.

more info at Slashgear »

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Comments

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This forum is closed.

rwalford79

Oct 25, 2017, 10:12 AM

Not True

How are Powermat chargers upgradable by software? There's no connection to Starbucks wifi or Ethernet to them. In fact they're barely working half the time anyway. They got rid of all the power rings cause no one ever returned them. I fail to see how they're going to upgrade these via software on a whim. They're gonna have to just replace them. PMA was always a crap idea against Qi anyway.
 
 
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