McDonald's is installing 600 wireless charging stations for enabled mobile devices in 50 restaurants in the U.K.
The announcement represents a major expansion of wireless charging technology that's still in the early stages of deployment in public places.
The charging stations from Aircharge are based on the Qi (pronounced "chee") wireless standard, which is backed by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC). The expanded rollout comes after a successful initial market test between Aircharge and McDonald.
"This is a major step for McDonalds, but in a way, they are catching up with other restaurants across the world who have already deployed Qi in their establishments, " said John Perzow, vice president of market development for the WPC.
Other restaurants, such as Kitchen 67, based in Michigan, and the Kanga Café, Balzacs Coffee Bar, Sense Appeal and Thor — all in Toronto — have also installed Qi-standard wireless charging.
Soon we will be seeing more and more places with these charging stations. Starbucks, which like McDonald's spent months testing the technology in city locations, is deploying Duracell Powermat chargers.
Duracell 'Powermat Spots' are being placed in designated areas on tables and counters where customers can place their devices to charge wirelessly.
Duracell Powermat is a member of the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), one of the three consortiums rolling out products. The PMA last year also announced a deal to share technologies with the third consortium, the Alliance For Wireless Power (A4WP).
Earlier this week, the PMA and A4WP announced a merger that pits them squarely against the WPA.
The A4WP is backed by more than 140 companies, including Intel and Samsung Electronics, and the PMA has 70-members that include ATT on its board. The WPA consortium, however, is the largest; it has 217 members that include Philips, Qualcomm and Nokia.
So never fear the dying battery soon won't be an issue.