The Wireless Power Infrastructure: Balancing portability, self-sufficiency, and efficiency

It took decades for the invention of electricity to reach most people through a reliable infrastructure. It won’t take wireless power nearly that long.


Frustrated technician fixing cable in server room

In 1930, only 70% of U.S. households were electrified, and those were in the cities.1 Once your home or business was connected, only a few devices or appliances were available to you. But when it was, it was life-changing. Increased safety and security, reduced fire hazards, convenience, optimized work conditions, a continuous supply of energy: so many things became possible.

In 2024, we’re undergoing a similar transformation with wireless power delivery over air, and it is spreading across the globe in years, not decades. In fact, any business or location can get set up with wireless power (using adapters and a FastTrack kit) in a day, and many already have.

The current established energy-delivery infrastructure relies on wired buildings and batteries. The newly emerging one? Not nearly as much. But concerns over relying on a wireless power infrastructure still hold people back:

  • Portability: Are wirelessly powered devices truly portable?
  • Self-sufficiency: How dependent are devices on wireless power stations, transmitters, or Power Hubs?
  • Efficiency: Is a wirelessly powered device more efficient than a battery powered one?

A balance of all three is needed for a successful wireless power infrastructure. Here are the answers to some of these great questions.

Portability: Are wirelessly powered devices truly portable?

Yes. A wirelessly powered device, such as a retail scanner, receives power throughout a Cota-enabled space. It never goes low on power and never dies within that space. A Cota-enabled space could be as “small” as any direction within range of a Cota Power Hub and as large as needed, because Power Hubs can be linked.

Airports, mega warehouses or distribution centers, conference centers, and big box retail stores are just a few examples of ideal locations for linked Power Hubs to provide continuous power delivery throughout.

Cota-enabled devices can be in use and on the move, and don’t need to be within sight of a Power Hub, to receive continuous power at a distance and over the air.

Self-sufficiency: how dependent are devices on wireless power stations, transmitters, or Power Hubs?

As the wireless power infrastructure expands, so does the self-sufficiency of the devices that rely on it. In terms of the evolution of adoption, what we’re seeing at Ossia is that innovative and larger companies are initially adopting Cota Real Wireless Power for a specific purpose, such as electronic shelf displays or security systems. Even though it’s set up for a unique use case, the system itself is ready to support the addition of a myriad of devices and sensors.

For each business, self-sufficiency is quickly achieved, and they can add devices as desired. As additional Cota-enabled spaces and services are set up across the globe, devices can move from place to place, which enables them to continue to be self-sufficient without the need for charging cables or batteries.

Current contact charging (such as induction charging or magnetic charging) systems can be used in tandem with wireless power over air systems. This is important as the infrastructure matures, but doesn’t yet reach all places.

Keep in mind that an infrastructure that enables self-sufficiency is dependent on technology compatibility.

Efficiency: Is a wirelessly powered device more efficient than a battery powered one?

Efficiency is one of those words that has different meanings in different contexts and to different people. For example, a battery-powered device doesn’t allow its owner to be efficient when it needs to be plugged in, put down to charge, or needs battery replacement.

Wireless power is much more efficient in this scenario in that power delivery is automatic and automated. A device’s power level is never low or depleted in a Cota environment, and it’s always able to run at full capacity. The user’s workflow is never interrupted by a low battery warning or dead device. No battery replacements need to be sought out. And no one needs to remember to plug anything in at the end of a shift. Quiet efficient.

If we’re talking about electrical efficiency, that’s typically defined as “useful power output divided by the total electrical power consumed.”2 Hatem Zeine, physicist and inventor of Cota Real Wireless Power, explores this topic in his article, The True Efficiency of Wireless Power.

The Wireless Power Infrastructure Is Being Built As We Speak … by everyone

Achieving a balance among efficiency, self-sufficiency, and portability requires a global infrastructure built on a set of standards that allows device compatibility. The only way it will happen is through collaboration of an extended ecosystem. And that includes you.

Ossia has multiple partners worldwide that are seeking collaborators with Cota Real Wireless Power. Is now the right time to connect? Contact us. We’re here to answer your questions.