CES is always a moment where companies reiterate their dedication to environmental causes and trumpet their latest, more efficient products and packaging. After introducing a solar-powered Eco Remote to its 2021 TVs, Samsung is back again with a new version that comes with a rather fascinating trick.
Like the previous Eco Remote, it can be charged with solar energy, but Samsung has also added RF harvesting features that let the remote retain its charge by “collecting routers’ radio waves and converting them to energy.” Nice. You can not see this in many gadgets – mostly because it is really only practical for devices with low power consumption. But remote controls certainly fall into that category.
Apart from the new RF harvesting option, the Eco Remote can be charged from both outdoor and indoor light or (for the fastest results) via USB-C. Samsung says they are introducing a white model of the remote this year, which the company says is intended to better complement their “lifestyle” TVs like The Frame, Serif and Sero.
As with the original remote control, the intention here is to drop AAA batteries. Samsung has previously estimated that switching to solar-powered remote controls could avoid 99 million discarded batteries in seven years. It has also explored other ways to self-charge the internal battery, such as “utilizing the kinetic energy created when the remote is shaken” and “using the vibrational energy created when the microphone picks up sounds.” But this time, it was decided to add RF harvesting as another way to keep the clicker going when you need it.