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McDonald’s to roll out wireless phone charging in 50 UK restaurants

Futuristic phone charging, coming to a burger joint near you

If you’re looking for an excuse to fall off your New Year’s health food wagon, then how about popping into McDonald’s next time your smartphone is low on juice? 

The fast-food empire (and home of the Hamburglar) has emerged as the somewhat unlikely standard-bearer for free wireless smartphone charging, with the announcement that it will be installing 600 charging hotspots in 50 of its UK restaurants.

All you’ll have to do is pop your smartphone or tablet on the tabletop for it to automatically start charging. And if you manage to sneak in a cheeky Big Mac at the same time, well, who’s to know?

The charging pads that work this magic work are provided by a company called Aircharge. It uses a technology called Qi – a wireless charging standard that works with some but not all mobile phones (among the handsets supported are Nokia Lumia devices and the Google Nexus 6). Cabled connections will be provided alongside the wireless charging pads for those with incompatible phones.

McDonald’s has already trialled the charging pads in nine restaurants in Hanover, Germany, as well as running a small-scale test in the UK. Aircharge says one McDonald’s restaurant reported some customers being willing to wait 30 minutes just to use the chargers. Plenty of time for an apple pie to go with that Big Mac, then.

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