Sure, we’re all probably familiar with wireless chargers, but have you seen one that can charge from across the room?
I have an undying habit of seeking out interesting and potentially life-changing tech. I don’t just want technology. I want science fiction come to life! At TechCrunch Disrupt, Ossia, Inc. has turned off their stealth mode to bring a proof of concept to the public: Cota Wireless Charging. I know you’re probably thinking, “Hey, isn’t the Powermat a wireless charger? And don’t some phones have wireless charging built in?” Yes, these are both true. However, Cota is something far beyond the close-range inductive charging that technologies like Qi can offer. We might even get a wireless charging standard out of this, since nobody can seem to decide upon one.
Cota has been under secret development since 2008 by Hatem Zeine and his team at Ossia. It’s surprising that they managed to keep it mum for so long, especially considering how hot the concept of wireless charging is starting to become and almost nothing stays a secret for very long in this Internet era of leaks and overshares.
From the press release:
“We have been developing the Cota technology in stealth for the last six years,” said Zeine. “By revealing for the very first time real wireless power that is remote, efficient and safe, Ossia expects to change everything you think you know about wireless power. Cota will unleash the imagination of product designers and entrepreneurs globally to innovate and create new products that only exist in a completely wireless state – one that is always on and always ready.”
Ossia’s patented smart antenna technology uses phased arrays to transfer power without the use of inductive coils, ultrasonic waves, magnetic resonance, charging pads, or mats. The Cota technology consists of two parts: a charger and a receiver. The Cota-powered charger automatically locates Cota receivers built into devices or batteries, and delivers signals that are sent omnidirectionally. Once they hit the charger, these signals follow the same path back to the receiver, focusing energy at the exact location of the device. Cota continuously streams power to multiple devices, even as they move around a room. The laws of physics make the Cota technology inherently safe, naturally avoiding anything that absorbs energy, such as people, pets and even plants.
Under license from Ossia, consumer electronics OEMs and ODMs will include Cota receivers in new products and will build their own branded Cota transmitters. Existing battery-powered devices can also be easily retrofitted with Cota receivers, even if they are already equipped with one of the three pad-based charging systems. Other companies such as construction and energy businesses are already exploring non-consumer electronics applications for Cota-based wireless power.
Zeine’s goal isn’t just to have Cota appearing like wi-fi hotspots – his vision is far more ambitious: He imagines a world in which their form of wireless charging is so ubiquitous that ‘charging’ will no longer be a part of our lives as we know them. Devices would stay in a state of permanent full charge. I could definitely that see as possible with a technology like Cota. It’s simple, safe, and – as he showed at Disrupt – it works. There’s a ton of potential here, and we will definitely be hearing a lot more from Ossia.
Onwards, to the future!
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