Real, practical wireless power is still more fantasy than fact for most, but Ossia has a new strategic partner that could help accelerate its transition to wider availability and usefulness. Japan’s KDDI, the country’s second-largest wireless carrier, has participated in Ossia’s recent $10 million raise, which will help Ossia spur the development of its Cota wireless power technology.
Cota, which debuted on the TechCrunch Disrupt stage in San Francisco in 2013, aims not just to provide the kind of wireless power possible via induction charging, where your device has to be in close contact with a charging element, but to blanket areas with powered wireless networks that work similar to Wi-Fi. The tech it has created can charge across a radius 30 feet, with a single station providing power to all the devices typically held in a single dwelling or suite of offices. The wireless tech can power devices regardless of whether they’re moving or sitting in the same location, using tech that is not unlike an advanced version of bees returning to the hive to report back the location of pollen-bearing flowers to the rest of their crew.
Ossia’s tech has drawn strong interest from Japan, per founder and CEO Hatem Zeine, and KDDI is a key strategic partner for the company to land, given that it services over 40 million customers who use mobile devices. KDDI said in a statement that its interest in Ossia stems from its belief that the progression of the Internet of Things will require the safe, equities delivery of efficient wireless power.
Ossia is offering essentially white-label opportunities for Cota’s wireless power charging stations, as well as retrofits for exiting battery-powered hardware, and licensing for OEMs and ODMs, all of which help explain KDDI’s interest in owning a strategic stake in the company early on.