Enlarge / In the representation of Archos, the transmitter panel on the right sends power to the air quality monitor on the counter.
I’ve never been impressed with wireless chargers. Sure, you no longer have to connect a cable to your smartphone, mouse, etc., but you still have to put it on a charging pad to charge it. And placing it on a pad doesn’t save that much time compared to plugging in a cable. Over-the-air charging, on the other hand, is more like what I imagined when I first heard the term wireless charging. You don’t have to put your device on top of a product to charge it. That vision should soon become a reality with true wireless charging products like a smartwatch and smart home camera, which are expected to hit the market next year.
On Tuesday, Archos, a French company that makes Android-powered tablets and smartphones, air purifiers, and Safe-T Mini, a crypto wallet, announced a partnership with Ossia, the Washington-based maker of over-the-air charging technology, known. Archos is currently planning to design and build a smartwatch, indoor security camera, air monitor and smart tracker that can charge their batteries without a cable or charging pad.
Each device contains a Cota Power Receiver, a small silicon chip that sends out a signal that, according to Ossia, is harmless. This signal ricochets off any inanimate objects in its path to hit a cota transmitter. Once this signal is received by the Cota transmitter, it responds by sending power over the air over a 5.8 GHz frequency to the device holding the receiver. According to Ossia, the devices talk to each other 100 times per second.
Please note that in order to save energy, the transmitter only emits power when a device with a receiver is within range. When Ossia showed me the consumer-oriented Cota Home product at CES in Las Vegas in 2020, he said the range for the 11.8 × 11.8 inch transmitter panel was 9 m and that wireless charging could even work with a device it was in a pocket or a drawer. There is also an app that allows you to view the devices connected to Cota as it can power many devices at the same time.
I tried Cota in the form of a Spigen branded smartphone case that wirelessly charges the phone. In the demo I saw the transmitter pick up the receiver’s signal immediately. If it hadn’t been for the decent sized panel on the table, it would have worked like magic.
Currently, Cota has found a home primarily in businesses, including KonnectOne, which makes connected and broadband products for cellular operators and other businesses, and Sensata-Xirgo, which uses Cota for a trailer tracker solution. This week’s news promises to bring consumer-friendly Cota Home technology into homes rather than stores.
Archos didn’t get very specific about the products that were coming out. It said the smartwatch will have everything you’d expect from a health tracker, namely a blood pressure and sleep quality monitor, a pedometer, and a GPS. Archos also said it “never needs to be charged with a cord”.
In addition, Archos plans to release a Cota-powered indoor wireless camera, as well as a smart tracker that can be used on pets or kept in a purse. According to the announcement, the tracker will be “automatically located and wirelessly charged enough to have a few days of autonomy”.
An air quality and temperature station is also in the works. Thanks to wireless charging, he can move from room to room without having to worry about when he last saw his charging station. Device location was an important factor in the Archos wireless chargers.
“The Cota system was chosen by Archos because of its unique ability to automatically track a device to send and receive information without the need to use complex algorithms or the need to shut down in the event of disruptions in delivery, and because it Radio frequencies can send -based performance while avoiding people and pets, “said Archos’ announcement.
Archos has not offered a firm release date beyond its “target” of 2022, but product development will be showcased at CES in January.
While Ossia has FCC approval to operate its technology at 2.4 GHz in the US, it has yet to obtain 5.8 GHz approval. The company continues to expect Archos products to hit the US market “in late 2022 or 2023,” an Ossia spokesman told Ars Technica.
And if you’re curious about those smartphone cases, Ossia told us that even though the COVID-19 pandemic slowed things down, “Ossia is still working with Spigen and other manufacturers to build a Cota Forever Sleeve and in the US to bring to market globally. ” The company did not name an expected release date.