GM, McDonald's and more: Companies following Starbucks' lead


Coffee giant Starbucks is far from the only company betting on wireless charging technology.

In the coming weeks, General Motors will also be releasing cars with the technology, according to Powermat Technologies, the company that partnered with the automaker to incorporate it.

Powermat rolls out in Starbucks

"The first cars with wireless chargers will be out later this month," said Scott Eisenstein, Powermat's vice president of communications.

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The company is also in talks with a range of restaurants and retailers. Already it's inked a deal with Starbucks through its Duracell Powermat business to roll out the technology nationally and test it in Europe and Asia. Duracell Powermat is a joint venture between Powermat Technologies and Procter & Gamble-owned Duracell to bring wireless charging ability to consumers.

"There are more but nothing that I've announced or that I can talk about yet," Eisenstein said. "There are many more, and we're excited to make this ubiquitous."

Already, some McDonald's locations in New York City along with a few dozen more in Europe are testing the Duracell Powermat technology, said Ran Poliakine, Powermat's CEO.

McDonald's and GM were not immediately available for comment.

Specialty coffee retailer The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, which has more than 950 stores, is also testing the technology.

Starbucks' decision to launch the free charging spots nationally fills a key void for the on-the-go customer: finding a convenient charging station to revive a dead phone.

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The technology could even influence consumer decisions, Poliakine added.

"If your battery is off and you need a charge, if you have the option to go to Place A with a charging station and Place B with no charging station, clearly it will impact your decision."

—CNBC's Katie Little