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Cota by Ossia hopes to charge your phone wirelessly, no contact required

Nicole Lee, @nicole
September 9, 2013
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We've all heard of wireless charging before, but most solutions still require your phone to come in touch with a base station. Well, Cota is a technology that aims to power your mobile device completely wirelessly -- without any physical contact at all. Hatem Zeine, a physicist and CEO of Ossia Inc, demonstrated the technology on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt when he successfully charged his iPhone when plugged with a Cota prototype, seen above, while holding it several feet away from a charging station.

It all seems like voodoo, but the secret lies in sending a magnetic charge over the same 2.4GHz spectrum that WiFi and Bluetooth already use. If you're concerned about safety, Zeine assures us that only one watt of power is transmitted -- that's a third of what cell phones already transmit. Line of sight isn't required, and Zeine claims that one station can power multiple devices at once. Just like a WiFi hotspot, you can set it so that it only works with certain devices or simply open it up so that power is available to all Cota-enabled handsets within range, which is around 30 feet.

Cota by Ossia hopes to charge your phone wirelessly, no contact required

Cota is apparently already in the late stages of FCC approval and the company is in talks with electronics manufacturers to incorporate the technology in consumer devices in 2015. Though Ossia plans to have its own hardware, it's open to licensing the tech to other companies too. Zeine explained the technology can be bundled in USB dongles or built directly into handsets.

"In ten years, imagine there's a Cota charger in the home, in the car, in cafes, in the airport," Zeine told us. "You would never have to worry about battery, ever. The battery icon on your phone, it would disappear." To get a better idea of the technology, have a peek at Zeine's Disrupt demo over on TechCrunch or hit the source site to get more info.

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