Q&A with Hatem Zeine, CTO of Ossia

With new technologies emerging, the Wireless Power market is ever-evolving. The day where you no longer have to worry about plugging your device into the wall to charge is here and now! Smithers Apex recently spoke with Hatem Zeine, CTO of Ossia ahead of this presentation at the Wireless Power Summit to learn more about Ossia's Cota technology and get his insights on the industry.

Smithers Apex: Your company is paving the way for a new way of developing wireless charging technology – can you share with us a little of how Ossia sees the next wave of wireless charging, what applications have the most potential for growth and what comes next in terms of advancements for remote wireless power?

Hatem Zeine: Ossia wireless power Cota technology will change our thinking of how we use our current devices when they are constantly powered. When we know that using the device will not drain the battery, this will mean increased usage, this exact change will cause a huge adoption of wireless power units to power not only our current devices, but also IoT’s that are currently feeling the impact of power availability on its proliferation. We believe that Remote wireless power will revolutionize the IoT market and enable a truly expanded deployment of devices we need and some we did now know we needed.

Smithers Apex: In your opinion, what is the consumer expectation when it comes to wireless charging and how can a technology like Cota can change their mindset when it comes to adoption?

Hatem Zeine: When wireless power is available at a distance, many profound changes will happen to our devices, how we interact with them and how we live our lives. With wireless power covering areas similar to WiFi, it means that we will be spending most of the our days inside a wireless power location, best at home, office or public coffee shop of airport. This means that our phones will be constantly charging to the point that we can say the phones are powered instead of charging, since we will be running our days with 100% battery throughout the day. This changes our thinking from wireless charging to wireless power in the same difference between a laptop and a desktop computer, where a desktop is constantly powered while a laptop is charged.
Uses can now adopt new devices without worrying on how to keep them running, we will see an explosion of devices in the home from the 50 or so battery powered devices to 100’s of devices service our safety, health, productivity and entertainment.

Smithers Apex: What are the main challenges for wide spread adoption when it comes to large spaces and public spaces?

Hatem Zeine: Cota is designed with public locations in mind. Once Cota enters is approved by the FCC, Ossia has several product plans with partners to rollout into the public locations. There is definitely great interest in public location charging as we have already seen from the proximity charging being rolled out in coffee shops. Cota’s deployment and extended range of 30 feet will cover typical coffee shops and charge 4 to 8 phones simultaneously. The challenge will be to keep costs low, provide high reliability and assure safety, all of which are core features of the Cota implementations we are currently building.

Smithers Apex: Can you tell us how do you work with product development people and designers to develop products that both keep the user at the center but also think of how your technology will affect their thinking process?

Hatem Zeine: The core principle of our designs is that “technology needs to be invisible”. With that we mean it needs to work without conscious action - sort of like wifi, which connects to your phone, allows for email to download seamlessly. We have done tremendous work on the software and embedded code features to make Cota work out of the box, no configurations or displays to monitor and mess with. We believe in a design that is "novice friendly & expert friendly”, enabling experts at the same time to configure large power networks within buildings and distributed locations to maintain their customers happy and maintain security for all users and organizations.

Smithers Apex: What are you looking forward to hear at this year’s Wireless Power Summit?

Hatem Zeine: I am looking forward to see advancements in wireless power and customer adoption. We believe in this market and want to cooperate with other players in making our electronics truly wireless.