Wired Magazine equated the $25 million investment the coffee giant recently made to a mobile startup called Square to when eBay decided to partner with a little startup called PayPal.
Wired has this description on how the technology will work:
You're walking down the street. It's hot. The Starbucks a block away sends you a message that your favorite hot-weather order – venti skinny latte on ice — is available to you at a dollar off. You accept the offer, and with a few taps, add an almond biscotti to the tab. Then you stroll into the Starbucks. Everything is ready when you arrive – you simply pick it up, the barista checks out your [face, which will be beamed to his computer with your order], and you're out the door [without having to touch your wallet].