In these blogs, we’ve explored many ways that Cota Real Wireless Power Technology is ideal for powering multiple types of sensing devices. It works for battery-less client devices (e.g. with supercapacitors instead of battery chemistry) or those with rechargeable batteries. Low-powered sensors, whose purpose is to detect events or changes in environments, are on the verge of a commercial explosion driven by the proliferation of 5G and WiFi 6. As more and more companies explore Smart Home, Building Automation, Intelligent Glass, Smart Cities and more IoT, each of these include the gathering of measured data using sensors. In this way, sensing technology can enable increased environmental efficiency, predictive analytics and improved customer experience.
One step away from the actual sensor device is the underlying technology that used to directly measure the environment. Because Cota technology uses radio beacon signals to determine how best to send power at a distance, Ossia is working on using those same extremely low-power beacon signals to map the environment around the Cota Power Transmitter. Ossia has an on-going research & development plan around sensing technology, called the ‘Cota Sensing Project’. We have an active engineering Sensing Project Team meeting weekly and progressing on sensing, with members including several of our most senior PhD engineers.
Research and feasibility aspects of this Sensing Project have been proceeding for several years at Ossia. A few key sensing milestones that have already been achieved:
- Use of phase sensing algorithms to estimate distance from Cota Power Transmitters to Cota Power Receivers
- Use of Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) sensing algorithms to estimate presence of nearby objects
- Demonstrations and visualizations of Cota Power Receiver position location estimation
- Study of using Machine Learning on Cota measurement data to reliably estimate parameters of the environment, including changes
- Feasibility assessment of augmentation sensors to complement Cota’s internal sensing ability
Ossia’s Sensing Development Plan has initial alpha implementations targeted for testing in the next-generation Cota system releases. These will primarily be increased robustness estimations of locations of Cota Power Receivers and nearby objects.
On-going feasibility research is being done on using advanced Cota algorithms to estimate many other environmental parameters, such as:
- Presence of people and pets in rooms and vehicles
- Positions of people and objects, including distances and angles from Cota Power Transmitter
- Changes over time, including gait, whether standing or laying down, etc.
- Presence or position of people with obstructions between them and the transmitter
- Biometrics information about people in environment (size/weight, body positions, breathing, heart rate, etc.) – see for example the MIT study referenced below
- Security aspects of Cota Sensing (anti-spoofing, highly secure data delivery, detection of changes or breaches, etc.)
Several academic institutions have written in general about the capabilities of radio sensing, including:
As Ossia continues to explore Cota Sensing, we will work with partners and Universities to further the development and explore opportunities for commercial applications. The result is that Cota not only delivers Real Wireless Power, but also data communications, device control and environmental sensing. That’s a powerful and flexible combination, applicable across multiple different industries.