CES is always a moment when companies reiterate their dedication to environmental causes and trumpet their latest, more efficient products and packaging. After introducing a solar-powered Eco Remote for its 2021 TVs, Samsung is back again with a new version that comes with a pretty fascinating trick.
Like the previous Eco Remote, this one can be charged with solar energy, but Samsung has also added RF harvesting capabilities that let the remote preserve its charge by “collecting routers’ radio waves and converting them to energy.” Neat. You don’t see this in many gadgets — mostly because it’s really only practical for low-power devices. But remotes certainly fall into that category.
Aside from the new RF harvesting option, the Eco Remote can be charged from both outdoor and indoor light or (for the fastest results) over USB-C. Samsung says it’s introducing a white model of the remote this year, which the company says is meant to better complement its “lifestyle” TVs like The Frame, Serif, and Sero.
As with the original remote, the intention here is to ditch AAA batteries. Samsung has previously estimated that switching to solar-powered remotes could avoid 99 million discarded batteries over the course of seven years. It has also explored other ways of self-charging the internal battery such as “harnessing the kinetic energy that’s created when the remote is shaken” and “using the vibrational energy that’s created when the microphone picks up sounds.” But this time around it settled on adding RF harvesting as another way to keep the clicker functioning whenever you need it.