Have you ever wondered that one day you will be able to operate remote control without the need of any power source? It seems to be impossible by harnessing energy from solar cell unless you plan to put it outdoor for recharging before using it indoor and obviously there is another way. Just recently, NEC Electronics and SoundPower Corp has announced the collaboration project to co-developed a new remote control prototype that intends to get rid of battery requirement targeted for digital home.
Basically it consists of three main components – a vibration or kinetic based power generator from SoundPower, a miniature microcontroller integrated with RF technology from NEC that will be used to transmit data pattern for controlling home appliances as well as a power supply control mechanism that can drive electricity circuit with minimum amount of electricity. Technically, a button press will trigger weak vibration that eventually be used to generate electricity and drive remote control circuitry for proper data pattern transmission wirelessly just like conventional remote control. Although remote control device doesn’t require much power and can last quite long with normal AAA or AA type of batteries, but no doubt this is still quite an interesting and innovative idea to totally eliminate the need of battery cells for greater convenience besides as an effort towards greener environment initiative.
The prototype is ready now and is currently being showcased during the Embedded Technology 2009 event in Yokohama city. No estimated pricing information yet but be ready to spend slightly more than conventional remote control and the actual end product is expected to reach consumer market by 2011.