IoT sensors: Will wireless power save the industry?

The number of sensors embedded in IoT today are in the billions and are expected to double by 2030. Wireless power over air is geared to reliably and safely power them all.


Internet of Things infographic (bitmapped) with multicolored radial background

Just about every interconnected device has a sensor for something, and as the market grows, so does the need to efficiently power these sensors so that the data stream is stable.

Temperature, humidity, pressure, motion, light, sound, or air quality: IoT sensors capture tremendous amounts of data about the surrounding environment. This data ranges from convenient to life-saving, depending on who is using it.

But the challenges of keeping up with the pace of growth is real, especially with regard to delivering power to all these sensors. Current energy-delivery methods are slowing growth and holding innovation back.

Wirelessly powered IoT sensors can keep your IoT relevant and scalable — and your business competitive.

To Support the Current Rate of IoT Sensor Growth, Wireless Power Is Mandatory

The increasing demand for interconnected devices, advancements in sensor technology, and the expansion of IoT applications is driving growth in the IoT market. Although the exact number of sensors is hard to come by, according to the market research firm Statista, the number of IoT devices in use is projected to reach more than 15 billion in 2023 and is expected to surge to almost 30 billion by 2030.1

The big challenge on everyone’s minds is: How will we power them all? Manufacturers have four options to consider:

  1. Batteries are great for remote locations, but need frequent replacement, which means additional labor hours and safety risk. Difficult-to-access locations are ruled out. Batteries are also expensive and have a big hit on the environment, both from a natural resources and recycling perspective.
  2. Energy harvesting, or environmental power harvesting, such as from vibration, friction, solar, or wind, is an option, but only for very low power devices, and it can be inconsistent.
  3. Direct power (connected via wires to the electrical grid) is reliable and long-lasting, but investing in the infrastructure costs of building new systems is very high, and again, there’s an economic and environmental hit of using copper and other mined metals.
  4. Wireless power over air is becoming a more popular option in recent years. It offers consistent, reliable power delivery without the need for batteries or wires. Energy is sent over the air from transmitter to sensor receiver automatically, without the need for people intervention. Plus, it’s scalable.

The Perfect IoT Applications for Wireless Power over Air

Think of the devices that collect and send data that are always on and always relied on. Those are exactly the ones that will benefit the most from wireless power integration. Wirelessly powered IoT sensors are being leveraged for a wide range of applications, including:

  1. Enabling smart thermostats, leak detection, and security for consumers and building managers.
  2. Uninterrupted health monitoring and personalized care for doctors and healthcare workers at home and in hospital settings.
  3. Enabling predictive maintenance, optimization, and safety measures in factories and workplaces.
  4. Informing urban planning, traffic management, and environmental initiatives for government and community planners.

An added bonus? Wireless power over air, like Ossia’s RF-based Cota, is a two-way communication tool. Not only can people manage their wirelessly powered sensors remotely, but they can also receive data in near real-time, which can significantly impact response times.

A Tiny Tool for a Tiny Device Doing a Big Job

Sensors are tiny. So are Cota Real Wireless Power receivers. Without requiring much space, they are simple to integrate and manage via the cloud. Power is delivered automatically and wirelessly via a Cota Hub, or transmitter, to many sensors simultaneously.

High-Level Benefits of Using Wireless Power for IoT Sensors

With wireless power, you will decrease the costs of batteries, labor, and infrastructure. You will decrease the human error variable of keeping IoT charged up, and increase reliability of your products. You will reduce the risks associated with traveling to and accessing batteries in difficult locations. And you’ll reduce your carbon footprint.

But the biggest takeaway? Scale. Wireless power is the only way IoT will scale effectively and successfully at the rate that is currently predicted. Don’t get left behind.

Have questions about how wireless charging would work for your IoT sensors? We’re here to help.

Related sources that help answer the question: “How Will Wireless Power Support IoT Sensor Growth?”