You can do quite a few things at a McDonald’s restaurant – chew the fat (I mean, chat with friends), chew the fat, guzzle liquid refreshments, work your way through the dollar menu, surf the web using its free Wi-Fi service, and generally watch the world go by.
And if a forthcoming trial run by Finnish company PowerKiss proves successful, you’ll soon be able to add “wirelessly charge your phone” to the list – provided your phone can be charged wirelessly, that is.
The fast food giant is about to kick off a trial using Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) wireless charging pads built into tables at select European restaurants. Diners with a compatible mobile device will be able to charge it by simply plopping it on the table.
Your handset doesn’t have built-in Qi technology? No problem. Just get yourself a PowerKiss Ring, which plugs into any mobile phone, making it immediately ready for wireless charging.
Commenting on the trial, Eric Bourgeois of McDonald’s Europe said wireless charging will be seamlessly integrated into table tops of the pilot restaurants, although precisely which locations will be taking part in the trial hasn’t yet been revealed.
“It is hygienic, safe and unobtrusive, but at the same also functional, aesthetic and innovative,” Bourgeois said. “Therefore it follows McDonald’s Europe interior philosophy very well. It’s always important for us to create premium value for our mobile customers.”
Wireless charging facilities operated by PowerKiss can already be found in cafes, restaurants, hotels and airports around the world.
While the tech industry is yet to unite behind a single wireless charging system, the Wireless Power Consortium’s Qi charging technology currently has the most support, with over 130 companies – including Samsung, Nokia, HTC and Sony – pushing for it to become the worldwide standard.