Apple's unveiling of its newest line of iPhones left many people impressed with its stunning new features, which includes its wireless charging technology. The company clearly does not shy away from adopting new technologies for its devices and third parties are smart for taking note.

Among the first to take action is Starbucks Coffee Company with its plans to make changes to better customer service. According to SlashGear, the coffee giant is reportedly updating its wireless charging pads to support the iPhone X and iPhone 8 or 8 Plus.

Powermat's PMA standard

Starbuck's first wireless chargers were installed in its stores back in 2015. The move was in partnership with Powermat, a company known for its wireless power solutions. The wireless charging spots called Powermat Spots were built into designated counters.

The technology works with by placing any phone that is capable of wireless charging on top. Starbucks is also extending the service for devices without the feature through the Powermat Rings, which is available for sale and rent. Each ring, which costs $10, requires a lightning adaptor that is priced at $13. On the other hand, renting it out is free of charge.

The wireless charging industry has two major standards, the PMA and the Qi.

Powermat's technology in its partner stores is dependent on the PMA (Power Matters Alliance) standard. PMA offers an inductive charging system, a cloud based power management, and a digital transceiver communication. Currently, the forthcoming iPhones are not compatible with this standard as it chose to exclusively work with PMA's other main competitor.

Apple's preference for the Qi technology

Between the two charging standards, the Qi technology seems to be more common. An estimated 90 smartphone models use Qi today, as do a significant number of car models. Samsung practically committed its flagship Galaxy smartphones to this technology that is backed by Wireless Power Consortium.

The brand new iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus all support wireless charging through the Qi standard. Unlike its Samsung phone competitors that run on both Powermat and Qi, the new iPhones exclusively worked with just one.

Working on updates

According to Powermat CTO, Itay Sherman, this discrepancy in compatibility has a solution. The charging pads or spots are actually designed to be as generic as possible so it can facilitate as many standards as possible. In addition, the pads are connected to the backend of Powermat, which allows for a remote updating of the software.

Logistically speaking, this would devoid the update of a major hardware installation work. It is pretty impressive how the company actually thought this through. At least now, updating the Starbucks pads will not have to consume so much time. Although it can be expected that timing and execution will vary from each store.