McDonald's will test integrated wireless charging points for consumers in Europe with compatible smartphones and tablets over the coming months.
The charging points, which can top up the battery of any suitable device that comes into contact with them, will be provided by PowerKiss, a company whose products conform to the QI standard.
Wireless charging has the potential to be huge. Plates can be built into countertops, tables and even chairs so that everything from smartphones to kitchen appliances can draw a current without needing a power cable or power socket. However, there are currently two competing standards: the QI standard, which is the more established and is supported by a number of high-profile manufacturers including Samsung and Nokia, and the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) standard, supported by Starbucks, Google and rapper Jay-Z (his nightclubs are equipped with PMA wireless charging points).
Of the decision, Eric Bourgeois, senior director, European restaurant development and design studio, McDonald's Europe said, "Wireless charging will be seamlessly integrated into selected table tops of the pilot restaurants. It is hygienic, safe and unobtrusive, but at the same also functional, aesthetic and innovative."
However, McDonald's is yet to specify which restaurants in which countries will be involved in the trial. AT&T, Google and Starbucks have announced that they're joining the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) -- a consortium dedicated to creating a global standard and a supporting ecosystem for the technology.
This story was posted on Tue, March 5, 2013
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