Concept app shows how Apple Watch would let you skip Starbucks line


Your skinny non-fat latte is just wrist tap away. Photo: Impekable

We’re months away from being able to shackle our wrists to the Apple Watch, but the UI designers at Impekable have been busy dreaming up new app experiences that will delight wearers once the timepiece is finally available.

“Our concept was to re-envision how Apple Watch could enhance the Starbucks customer experience by providing an even better way to order rather than standing in a long line,” Impekable’s founder Pek Pongpaet told Cult of Mac. “Wouldn’t it be cool if I could just go grab a table, order one of my usual drinks, pay for it using Apple Pay or my Starbucks card and get notified when my drink is ready – all from my phone without leaving the comfort of my seat?”

Check out the slick concept below:


Pek says his team’s has been curious about how to make intimate experiences on the Apple Watch, so to help other designers get off the ground with their ideas, they’ve also launched a free WatchKit design template that’s become one of the most popular Apple Watch resources on Dribbble.

“Phones are very intimate, but watches and wearables can be even more intimate requiring less interaction because you don’t have to have it out – it’s on your wrist,” says Pek, whose team created the Starbucks Apple Watch app concept for CapitolOne’s recent WatchKit hackathon.

However, there is one glaring flaw with the app concept: Starbucks doesn’t support Apple Pay.

In fact, the Apple Watch SDK doesn’t even support fully featured apps yet like this concept. Pek says that’s not stopping his team from dreaming big. Completely native apps are expected to come later next year to Apple Watch, but developers are already imagining the possibilities.

Starbucks has been pretty adamant that it won’t ditch its own loyalty card and mobile payments platform just to support Apple Pay on the Apple Watch, but after seeing how much easier it’d be to get java-addicts their morning joe, maybe Howard Schultz will realize it’s time to bend to the will of Cupertino.

  • josephz2va

    I tried that once with the cup having the instructions written, but they said “No. Just tell me.”

  • CelestialTerrestrial

    There are other restaurants that have an app on the iPhone/Android phone where you can place the order and pay for it and all you do is go to the pickup area to pick up your food when they call your name. I’ve used it a couple of times at Taco Bell. So, this capability is already in existence. BJ’s has a similar app where you can place the order ahead of time and schedule when you want to arrive to sit down and as soon as they begin to seat you, your food is being cooked so it takes a little time waiting and then you can pay using the mobile app. Or they have it where you order ahead for take out. Putting these apps on an AppleWatch would just be a logical progression, but the app might not work as well since you can’t display much information on a tiny screen, but for simple orders it’d probably work OK. Whether or not it uses Apple Pay or not is just a matter of security reasons, not ease of use.

    I think at some point in time all restaurants that have pickup orders will have this order ahead feature. I’m surprised Starbucks isn’t all over this type of app like a fly on $hit. They typically have long lines and this would be the perfect app to avoid waiting just to order.

  • Greg_the_Rugger

    Either stand in line or stand around while they make it. Basically this is another feed into a production line already at max capacity. Don’t see the benefit.

    • CraigNotGreg

      It would be a big benefit for people like me who only order drip coffee. On a busy morning, I have to wait 10 minutes behind people who are ordering food or made to order drinks. I would love to order my coffee 5 minutes before I get to the store, pay from the app, and just pick it up.

  • lucascott

    Before the Apple Watch can do this, the Starbucks app needs to have the feature. And since Starbucks would rather have you use their card via the app, who is to say they would move this to the watch or even could at this point