McDonald's UK inks deal with Aircharge to deploy 600 Qi wireless charging hotspots

McDonald's UK is deploying 600 Aircharge's Qi wireless charging hotspots at more than 50 McDonald's restaurants and elsewhere.

The expanded rollout comes after an initial market test between Aircharge and McDonald's UK. According to a report from one McDonald's location, demand for the Qi wireless charging service was so high that some customers waited up to 30 minutes to use it.

The largest rollout of wireless charging technology has been at Starbucks, reports Computerworld. The coffee chain last year announced a nationwide rollout; it's deploying Duracell Powermat chargers, which are placed in designated areas on tables and counters where customers can place their devices to charge wirelessly.

Aircharge says its charging spots were specially designed to be water resistant and easy to wipe clean, which would seem to a requirement in places like McDonald's restaurants, and many consumers already have Qi-compatible devices that are ready to charge. More than 70 Qi-enabled smartphones are on the market, and customers who don't have a Qi-enabled smartphone can use the Aircharge wireless charging receivers with a plug-in accessory

Aircharge is a member of the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), while Duracell Powermat is a member of the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), which is merging with the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP).

Established in December 2008, the WPC is backed by more than 200 companies whose shared mission is to establish Qi as the global standard for wireless charging products. The group says that Qi is an evolving standard that supports both inductive and resonant charging, while ensuring backward compatibility with all Qi devices.

IHS last year predicted the global market for wireless power receivers and transmitters would rise to 1.7 billion units in 2023, up from about 25 million in 2013. Proponents of wireless charging say it's more efficient and convenient to use than wired chargers.

For more:
- see this Computerworld story

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