In the run-up to CES 2022, Samsung is making waves with its revolutionary new TV remote that never needs a change of batteries or even to be periodically charged with cables. Instead, it harnesses power from the radio waves floating around in the air, notably from home WiFi routers. It also supplements that with another failsafe – a solar panel on the back of the remote that catches ambient or direct light to keep the remote constantly charged.
Dubbed the Eco Remote, Samsung announced the little device this time last year, although at the time it was only said to be running on solar power. With a fresh new reveal just for CES 2022, Samsung also mentions that the new Eco Remote can now harness radio waves from the air, capturing energy in a way that’s absolutely new for most commercial home-based appliances.
Make no mistake, this new technology is pretty much bordering on magic. For starters, the remote doesn’t even have a battery inside it and instead uses a super-capacitor or SuperCap. What the Eco Remote essentially does is harvest energy from radiofrequency (RF) waves floating about in the ether around it, either from your WiFi router or your phone, or any other gadget that broadcasts radio waves. The Eco Remote then converts these waves into DC energy that effectively powers the remote. In its current nascent stage, the technology can only capture small amounts of energy, but it’s enough to power the remote for now. Other companies have been trying to scale this up to make wireless chargers charge phones without needing to place them on charging mats. As a failsafe, however, the Eco Remote also offers its standard solar panel on the base that allows it to run using light-based energy.
This comes as an effort on Samsung’s part to push for more eco-friendly tech. Their phones now ship without chargers to reduce e-waste, and their new TVs have a reduced power consumption too. Chris Davies from Slashgear points out, however, that all those efforts are almost instantly undone when you switch the TV on only to find that Samsung’s been working on an NFT marketplace within the TV that lets your television display the NFTs you purchase.