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Wireless Power

Saturday 21st September 2013

Wireless Power Is Coming

In a very real sense it is already here in part. Wireless Charging is becoming mainstream. But seriously powering a device wirelessly has been a difficult challenge and there are many who think it will never be effective unless done at power levels that would be unsafe.

So it was with interest that I read of Cota by Ossia which claims to be able to deliver 1W of real power in a regular home in a way that is not only safe but well advanced in their approval process with the FCC for use in the USA.


Qi Wireless Charging

There are several efforts to product ubiquitous wireless charging and we are already working with one of those technologies. This is Qi Wireless Charging and chipsets and standards have been agreed as part of the Wireless Power Consortium. This creates one very useful ecosystem where devices and chargers from different manufacturers are interoperable.

Qi wireless

Qi wireless

Qi works by using inductive coupling and some smart power devices that communicate with each other over the coupling. This two way communications allows the power transmitter to optimise its performance to suit the power receiver.

Qi Tx Rx Block Diagram

Qi Tx Rx Block Diagram


So Cota is a very exciting new development that allows significant wireless power transfer at distances of metres rather than millimetres. The technology was officially unveiled at TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 in San Francisco. Backed by patents from 2007 and looking like it will soon gain FCC approval there is quite a buzz about the first commercially viable Wireless Power Technology.

Cota Hardware

Cota Hardware

I’ll be watching this space carefully because the applications for Wireless Sensor Networks is huge.


Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2013 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

4 thoughts on “Wireless Power

  1. Interesting read. This innovation has the potential to reshape hundreds of industries as we know it!

    What is your prediction for how long before this technology becomes mainstream?

  2. Great question Simon

    I think both the mobile phone, MP3 players and USB are good examples of what we can expect here. These took 10 years to become mainstream. USB was on every Windows PC from 1995 onward but it wasn’t until the middle of the first decade of this century that they started dropping parallel and PS2 ports off PCs making USB your only option.

    Mobile phones are of course a series of technology releases over time. Adoption grew as they became smaller, easier to use and eventually expected.

    Wireless charging might be with us but it is still an emerging market.

    Wireless power isn’t available yet and will probably take several years to get to where wireless charging is now.

    Both need an ecosystem of standards, end devices and channels to market.

    The final example is the MP3 player. Apple were something like the 7th major player to enter the market. They didn’t until there was a complete ecosystem available. They let someone else build the market then took it off them. This is sometimes referred to as “fast second”. The first to market often doesn’t do the best in spite of popular wisdom. They have to create and build the market. This requires considerable investment. Once they have done that, other players can enter at significantly lower engagement cost. The only way the first to market player can hold their position is to maintain a series of products releases that keeps them ahead of the competitors.

    It will be interesting to see how it does unfold.

  3. Ray. This is very interesting. I’ve been doing some digital artistic holograms lately. One of the barriers to the acceptance of holography as an art form is the need for specific & quite powerful lighting. I’ve been thinking that the latest CRE LEDs in the 10-20W (3-4,000K) range could be built into a frame that is part of the artwork. A motion sensor kicks the light on when someone approaches the hologram. The stumbling block is power. Wired in, adds a whole new level of complication with electricians etc. Battery power would be good for 1-3 months or rechargeables might work. But wireless recharging is the perfect solution as the duty cycle is very small so 1W is plenty of juice.

    Please keep me posted as this nears any kind of commercially available components.

    Glenn Brien
    Sculptor of light

  4. Hi Glenn

    thanks for the comment. Since this is a lower duty cycle application then it would suit wireless power delivery.
    I’ve read through the COTA information and you have a briefcase sized generator which can feed several devices that are dispersed around it.
    However for you application it might also work well with RGB LASERS as a ceiling mounted device.


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