What the Tech? Ossia charging ceiling tiles
An international company has invented a solution to perhaps the #1 problem facing all smartphone users. It will charge smartphones through the air while you're just walking around. Imagine this technology in ceiling tiles in an airport.
For most of us, watching the tiny battery icon on our smartphone turn from green to red is the most frustrating part of the day. While smartphone batteries continue to improve so too does the time we spend on our phones.
Ossia, an international company has invented the Cota Ceiling Tiles. These tiles have charging beacons that send out power through the air so your smartphone is always being charged.
Crazy right? I saw these tiles in action at CES in January and it's very impressive. The tiles were embeded in ceiling tiles that are placed alongside tiles in drop ceilings, and in fixtures such as a clock and a lamp. Trying it out on my phone the beacon began charging my phone the second I attached it to a receiver.
The Ossia technology is being developed and works currently by plugging in your device into a receiver which gets the power charge. Eventually they intend to sell or license the technology to smarthphone manufacturers that will add a small receiver chip in the devices. "It's roughly a few meters and it will be extended or expanded over time," said inventor Didier Le Lannick. "Basically you have to look at the ceiling tiles as an expression of our technology which is widely patented."
Ossia is in talks with wireless provider KDDI about including the technology for their customers. "Customers who are Kddi customers would walk into public areas that have a transmitter and suddenly start receiving charge simply because they're a Kddi customer," Le Lannick said.
Ossia is also in talks now with a major car maker about installing the technology in the ceiling of its automobiles.
Luis Aguilar, Ossia's VP of Sales and Business Development told me it would allow phone manufacturers the opportunity to make phones thinner, "It changes your ability for design, the size of the batteries put in the devices, once you start creating this and build-out."
Aguilar told me the technology is safer that bluetooth signals and that the charge would not pass through someone's body. "It reflects off of walls, ceilings, floors and once it finds a pathway, multiple pathways if necessary, then power is sent by the transmitter," he said.
Ossia's Cota Ceiling Tiles was one of the most impressive technologies on display at this year's CES. Once widely launched it will solve on of the most frustrating things smartphone owners face each and every day.