Start-up touts wireless charging from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals

Ossia today announced a wireless receiver chipset that works with existing mobile device antennas.

A wireless charging start-up says it has developed a chipset that easily integrates with mobile devices to allow them to charge from existing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth transmitters.

Ossia originally announced its Cota wireless charging technology, in 2013, saying the antenna and chipset could receive power from wireless transmissions up to 30 feet away.

Today, the company announced that mobile device makers can now integrate its Cota chipset into mobile products without adding additional antennas; the chip simply uses the antenna that comes with the mobile device to receive power.

Ossia's Cota remote wireless power receiver uses a mobile device's existing antenna, eliminating internal coils needed by magnetic induction wireless charging systems that dominate the market today.

"Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas can perform double duty as both data and Cota wireless power receivers," the company said in a statement.

Hatem Zeine, CEO of Ossia and inventor of the Cota system, said the technology addresses internal mobile device "real estate" that limits what can be placed, not only inside smartphones and tablets, but also more compact wearable devices, all of which are increasingly thinner and lighter.

Additonally, the Cota chipset can be used in stationary technology, such as in smoke detectors or even AA or AAA batteries, to keep them fully charged.

Ossia hopes to begin shipping its Cota technology to equipment makers this year.

"Not only does Cota not take up any of this valuable space by requiring additional components, but by adding remote wireless power, designers can actually decrease the size of the biggest space hog inside the device: the battery," he said. "When the device receives power remotely, it can be continuously charged, making it possible to use smaller batteries in designs."

The Cota receiver chip also includes power management capabilities that manufacturers can leverage to reduce component costs, required circuit board area, and time-to-market, making the industry's most robust wireless power technology also the easiest to integrate.

All that's needed is slight tweaks to the circuitry and firmware, according to a spokesman.

The Cota technology can charge multiple mobile devices at the same time, regardless of whether a device is stationary or moving -- such as a wearable bracelet on someone's wrist. With an effective line-of-site radius of 30 feet, a single Cota charging station can simultaneously charge or power all the battery-operated devices in every room of an average home or office suite, the company said.

The Cota technology consists of two parts: a charger and a receiver. The internal Cota receivers charge batteries and send out omnidirectional beacon signals. Once the Cota charger receives these beacons, it returns thousands of targeted signals that build pockets of energy at only the precise locations of the beacons' origins.

"This pinpoint precision targeting of energy safely and efficiently powers all Cota-equipped devices and batteries within its effective radius, even as they move around the room," Cota said in its marketing material.

Cota claims its technology is "inherently safe." Its tracking beacons use only about 1/10,000th the signal power of Wi-Fi, which itself is a low-power signal.

Cota's energy pockets are created using approximately the same signal strength emitted by a mobile phone during a call.

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