January 23, 2017 5:20 AM EST

Imagine a room in which everything charges automatically. That’s the idea behind the Cota Tile, a ceiling fixture that can send power over radio waves to devices like phones, laptops and smoke detectors, so long as they’re outfitted with special receiver chips. (Think Bluetooth or wi-fi connectivity, but more advanced.) Bellevue, Wash.-based tech startup Ossia, which developed the Cota, said it’s working on licensing the technology before the Tile hits the market–though it will likely be many years before this kind of wireless power is commonplace.

–Julia Zorthian

This appears in the January 30, 2017 issue of TIME.

Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com.

Read More From TIME

Related Stories

EDIT POST