All the radio waves and signals bouncing around you can be summed up in one thing: energy. Sure, they might carry Wi-Fi and sound, connect your cell phone, and deliver the latest Harry Styles tune, but they’re all energy at heart. So it should be able to provide power as well as entertainment, right?
That’s the promise of Ossia and other wireless technology companies, and unfortunately it’s always been more of a promise than a practice.tom’s hardware Introducing Cota Wireless Power for the first time In 2015, technology has yet to explode. But at CES 2023, Ossia is doing everything it can to make it easy to develop a real product that delivers on that promise with its new Cota 5.8 GHz Real Wireless Power developer kit.
At the show, Tom’s Hardware met with the inventor of the technology, Hatam Zeine, to discuss when and where we might see the technology. Spoiler: It’ll probably be in business before you get your own.
Zeine describes a Double A device that can change batteries and use the company’s wireless power, for example in smoke detectors and remote controls. Or you can charge your phone by simply placing it on your bedside table as it is a Qi charger that charges wirelessly itself. “This is coming soon,” we asked?
“It’s coming! This is coming!” Zeine said, though he couldn’t say which third party would provide it. Or those charging pads. But they are coming! Also at Mobile World Congress, the company will be taking pre-orders for a new universal base that can be retrofitted to other devices and new Archos cameras that support this technology.
This new developer kit allows curious manufacturers to try wireless power for themselves and see how Ossia’s technology fits into their devices. And with wireless cameras, doorbells, smart light bulbs, and other gadgets proliferating by the day, the potential for wireless power to keep them all fully charged at all times is immense.
to clarify the technique works. Ossia’s breakthrough relies on a principle of physics known as retrogradeUsing this technology, a small chip embedded in the device sends a signal to a base station. This is a flat, thin panel that resembles a notepad on a stand. It uses either a 2.4 GHz signal or a 5.8 GHz frequency to wirelessly transmit energy to a receiver chip. Receiver chips can be embedded in smartphone cases, laptops, lamps, or anything else. The company promises no line of sight and zero interference to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals.
“Our technology basically utilizes a large array of antennas that can focus energy on specific devices in the environment,” explains Zeine.
But getting manufacturers to integrate receiver chips into their devices was a real hurdle for Ossia. Not to mention safety certification from the FCC. 2020, CEO Mario Obeidat asked Tom’s Hardware for FCC certification Having obtained in June that the Cota transmitter and receiver operate at 2.4 GHz and up to 1 m distance. Cota was certified at almost 1W, but the transmitter could go up to 2-3W, he said, Obeidat. In March, the FCC lifted its distance restrictions. So send as many signals as you like, he basically says the FCC. Safe. However, the 5.8 GHz signal remains an elusive target because it can charge quickly even at short distances.
Ossia doesn’t need 5.8 GHz, Zeine told Tom’s Hardware. But this means the company doesn’t have to dance around Wi-Fi signals cluttering his 2.4 GHz bandwidth, opening up possibilities and resulting in higher power charging. Wireless power may just be the future.