Behrooz Abiri, co-founder & chief technology officer, GuRu, says that power without wires or batteries could be a game changer.

Modern technologies have been transformative in how we approach facility management. From IoT sensors and controls to drone technology monitoring the condition of buildings, all of these advancements have one common challenge, electrical access. An emerging technology, Over-the-Air (OTA) power, might be the answer. This technology will be the game-changer that facility management needs to reach its full potential in power accessibility and the many satellite impacts that come with it.

OTA power will revolutionize the world of facility power management and accessibility as we know it. This technology transmits power from “Point A” to “Point B” without any wires or physical connection in between, similar to how a Wi-Fi router provides internet to devices. Simply put, OTA electrical technology will power compatible units that would have otherwise needed to be battery operated or connected to an outlet.

Today’s power distribution and electrical infrastructure have countless problems that recreate obstacles for electricians when considering architectural and design elements, and limitations. For existing structures, buildings are either limited by the electrical access points already incorporated or require costly renovations and expansions to the entire system. Rooms need to be carefully laid out and wired around where equipment is to be placed and used. Most rooms in houses have four or five outlets, offices bristle with them. They are under the seats in airport terminals, beneath shelving units in stores, and tucked away discreetly in the corners of museums and art galleries. Such is our reliance on our devices, that power is needed almost anywhere you can think of. Facility managers need to accommodate people's high and expanding demands for access to this power.

What is OTA Power?

While there have been many attempts to achieve OTA power, the newest and most promising approach is mm-wave technology. mm-wave uses a transmitter to deliver its electric power through the air to multiple devices at one time. Like how 5G data networks use mm-waves to send data to specific devices. This accuracy makes for a safe, user-friendly and smart technology that can automatically locate and adjust power levels for any device. These smart generators can be installed on ceilings, walls or sit on a desk to charge any nearby electronics, similar to how a Wi-Fi modem provides wireless internet access to synced devices within its reach.

When OTA power is applied to facility management, managers will no longer have to worry about renovating and rewiring the building to meet the modern demands of technology usage. Facility managers will have the freedom to be able to do whatever they want within the space to add more fluidity to the function of the building. Gone will be the days of having to design a space specifically around outlets and power cords. In addition, the technology will be able to power any device that requires a battery. Operating managers will be able to focus more time on other projects and complex demands.

The possibilities of OTA charging technology within the facility management industry are endless. With the use of OTA power, facility operators will have less to worry about in the building because there will be fewer wires, creating fewer opportunities for electrical, safety and aesthetic issues. It simplifies and eases problems that can arise when trying to keep up with the high demands of newer technologies by eliminating the need to renovate or hire an electrician, all while saving time and money.

This emerging technology will rapidly advance any dated facilities to be compatible with the technological advancements of humans’ future needs. It will allow older buildings to transition to the modern world of technology without needing major renovations and facility function will no longer be limited by the building’s structure. All while being time-saving and cost-effective. All facilities will be able to adapt to the modern-day rapid technological advancements and needs.