Skip to main content

Meet Cota, the New Remote Wireless Power System

During the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco, Ossia Inc. came out of stealth mode and revealed the first commercially viable remote wireless power system, called Cota. This system delivers a targeted one watt of power to multiple devices from as far away as 30 feet, without requiring line of sight. Cota can be used to recharge devices like smartphones, remote controls, cameras, video game controllers, flashlights, smoke detectors and more.

"We have been developing the Cota technology in stealth for the last six years," said Ossia CEO, Hatem 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."

The new system is based on patented smart antenna technology that uses phased arrays to transfer power without the use of inductive coils, ultrasonic waves, magnetic resonance, charging pads or mats. Cota consists of a charger and a wireless power receiver, the former of which can automatically detect the latter installed into devices or batteries (even a AAA battery). Receivers send an omnidirectional beacon signal that hits the charger and bounces back a charged signal to the receiver, focusing energy at the exact location of the device.

According to the company, the laws of physics make the Cota technology inherently safe, naturally avoiding anything that absorbs energy, such as people, pets and even plants. During the onstage demo, Zeine actually lit LEDs and recharged a smartphone from a distance of 10 feet using a prototype Cota-powered transmitter.

Ossia plans to license out the new tech to OEMS and ODMs who will install the receivers in new products, and produce their own branded transmitters. Current battery-powered devices can even be retrofitted with the receivers, the company said, even if they are already equipped with one of the three pad-based charging systems. Construction and energy businesses are already looking for ways to incorporate the new Cota tech into their non-consumers electronics applications.

To see Cota in action, check out the company's 13-minute presentation during TechCrunch Disrupt here. The tech is currently in advanced stages of FCC certification. It's supposedly just as safe as your home's Wi-Fi network, and will be offered to consumers by 2015 in three form factors: built into phones and devices, built into standard batteries, and as a dongle for devices that don't have removable batteries.

  • acadia11
    Tesla would be proud. Unfortunately cancer rates just when up 30 fold as well.
    Reply
  • bunz_of_steel
    One watt??
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    I was wondering how long it would take to finally have a company propose wireless charging using beam-forming.

    Now, lets see how many devices they'll manage to power up at the same time and up to how much total combined power. I imagine many people would quite gladly ditch their conventional AA/AAA/9V batteries if they could.
    Reply
  • John Bauer
    11521946 said:
    One watt??

    You have to start somewhere, don't you?
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    11521946 said:
    One watt??
    They are using the 2.4GHz unlicensed spectrum and IIRC, 1W is the absolute maximum allowed there in most jurisdictions. With beam-forming though, they might be able to bend the rules to have multiple 1W paths.

    That is still enough to power stuff like most gamepads, remote controls, smoke detectors and likely a bunch of other minor loads whose batteries have a tendency to die on people at the most inconvenient time.
    Reply
  • ozchoz
    Forget the gaming stuff and accessories, imagine what this could do for artificial organs like hearts and valves.
    Reply
  • Someone Somewhere
    Meh. Same frequency as WiFi.

    I think I don't want to be in the same neighbourhood as one.

    EDIT: By memory, that one watt is what (ha) is received, not transmitted. Given it's about 10% efficient, I think the FCC and similar organizations would get quite upset at you.
    Reply
  • shin0bi272
    Finally no more batteries in my remote controls dying and having to be replaced over and over and over again!
    Reply