For more than a decade, Bellevue-based Ossia has been developing a technology called Cota that provides wireless charging to myriad devices at a distance. Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorized Cota the be marketed and sold in the U.S.
Today, the company announced its second FCC certification with the authorization of the Cota Forever Tracker, which wirelessly charges asset tracking systems that enable real-time tracking of semi-trailers, crates, pallets, packages, and other high value assets.
Like other Cota systems function to wirelessly charge devices from a distance by being placed in a home, office, or vehicle — much like a Wi-Fi router — the Cota Forever Tracker is placed with moving assets and high-performance IoT asset trackers, which typically have to be periodically charged. With the Cota Forever Tracker on board, however, the need to charge the trackers is eliminated: the technology is designed to automatically and simultaneously charge a large number of trackers, effectively removing a logistical hassle for companies shipping large loads between distribution centers.
One company that will soon be benefitting from this newly authorized technology is Walmart. Initial deployment of the Cota Forever Tracker is planned at Walmart distribution centers this year, with commercialization coming in 2020.
“Walmart and its supply chain are always looking to utilize cutting-edge technology to deliver the best experience to both our associates and our customers,” Cameron Geiger, senior vice president of Walmart Supply Chain Services, said in a statement. “We are excited to work with Ossia’s FCC certified Forever Tracker given its unique potential to bring tremendous efficiencies to the logistics and supply chain process.”
Working with Ossia to develop and market the Forever Tracker are T-Mobile and Xirgo Technologies. Executive vice president of T-Mobile for Business Mike Katz said, “The cost of complex and geographically dispersed deployments and keeping mobile devices continuously powered have historically been barriers for IoT.” The capability of Ossia’s Forever Tracker to keep tracking devices powered, he said, better enables deployment on a massive scale.
Ossia hopes that this second FCC certification is one of more to come in the future, as the company has been working closely with the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology to ensure that its different iterations of Cota technology adhere to strict national safety requirements.