Although still struggling for broad adoption, wireless charging technology has been steadily gaining steam. In fact, the new Samsung Galaxy S6 supports both PMA and WPC standards, but there are some other interesting and promising technologies on the horizon, too. Today Ossia Inc. announced its latest breakthrough in its Cota remote wireless power system, allowing for wireless power to be integrated into almost any WiFi or Bluetooth equipped device.
Unlike current PMA and WPC charging standards, which operate over short distances, Cota enables wireless charging at distances up to 30 feet. Cota makes use of signals in the WiFi and Bluetooth spectrum to transfer wireless power at greater distances. Cota can provide 1 watt of power to charge your gadget, which is about a third of the power offered through a USB connection. Furthermore, Ossia’s Cota promises to make use of existing antenna circuitry in devices, making it simple and affordable for OEMs to add remote wireless power to existing Wi-Fi or Bluetooth equipped devices. All that’s apparently needed is a small conversion chip. While not lightning fast, hassle free overnight charging and regular wireless top-ups throughout the day make this a tantalizing prospect.
As you might expect, Cota technology brings with it new charger and receiver parts. The tiny IC receivers can be built into devices, or even batteries, and regularly send out omnidirectional beacon signals to direct power from the charger. Once the Cota charger receives the signal, it returns thousands of targeted low power signals at location of the receiving device. Cota can even power multiple devices at once. If you’re worried about safety, Ossia says that its technology produces a signal no stronger than a mobile phone during a call.
The vision is to allow for automatic wireless charging in your home, office, or when grabbing a drink in your local coffee shop. We’re not just talking smartphones here, all manner of low power electronic devices could be powered by the technology.
Ossia will be licensing its design to OEMs and ODMs, who can then build their own transmitters and implement the receiver into their products. Cota sounds like another promising solution for limited mobile battery life, and the small, easy to implement charging chip could be the breakthrough this technology needs.
We’ll have to wait and see if the company can successfully bring its product to market, which is quickly filling up with competing wireless power products. What do you think, intrigued or not?