I think it's safe to say that a generally agreed-upon thing in tech is that cords suck. You might have way too many of them to deal with, or you might be tired of plugging one in the wrong way all the time (I'm looking at you, USB). It's for these reasons that wireless power is an interesting topic, and while there have been some solutions released and other more advanced ones talked about, there hasn't been a solid design win up to this point that people have gone nuts over.
Ossia, with its upcoming Cota, is looking to change that. Until just this week, Ossia was a total unknown, having preferred to keep out of the limelight no doubt to keep its product as competitive as possible. Using the exact same unlicensed spectrum that allows Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals to work, Ossia has designed a way to transmit power.
If this sounds a little outlandish, it kind of is - but creator Hatem Zeine showcased his pre-release product at TechCrunch's Disrupt conference, proving that this isn't a pipe dream - it's the future.
While it's largely believed that wireless signals of other sorts are relatively "safe" on our bodies, some might be a little more concerned when we're dealing with actual power. According to Zeine, there's no reason for concern, as the effect would be no different than a standard wireless signal. We'll have to wait and see what the FCC has to say about that.
Other limitations involve actual throughput, which is low: 10% efficiency, resulting in an effective rating of 1W. While the technology is undoubtedly cool, this mediocre efficiency puts a major damper on things. At 1W, devices are not going to charge that quickly - and some, perhaps not at all unless the device is turned off. Plus, few people are going to enjoy knowing that 9W is going to waste at all times (which of course still impacts your power bill).
If wasted power isn't too much of a concern, another aspect of the Cota might make you think twice about it: its final size is going to be about as large as a "large tower PC". Pricing isn't definitive, but Zeine not surprisingly said it will be "over $100". With a release date next year for companies and 2015 for consumers, this is going to be a product to watch, regardless of its limitations.
Looking to the future, imagine if this technology could become more efficient, and of course, smaller. Right now, wireless hotspots are a dime a dozen - could we see the same thing happen with wireless power? Picture sitting at the airport and being able to use your phone because it's being charged as you use it. If this kind of tech becomes mainstream, we might not even have to think of charging again. I can't be the only one who thinks that'd be awesome.
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