With CES 2022 officially underway, Samsung has come out swinging right out of the gate. Here’s a neat little reveal: the company’s new Eco Remote can harvest RF (radio frequency) signals in your home to charge its batteries.
The Eco Remote is — you guessed it — a remote that’s eco-friendly. It first debuted earlier this year with a solar panel on its back, allowing it to charge while resting in your living room’s sunny spots. It’s also made of recycled materials of some sort, further decreasing its overall environmental impact.
Like the previous Eco Remote, this one is slim and minimalist. There’s a microphone button for voice commands; shortcuts for Netflix, Disney Plus, and Prime Video; and typical TV control buttons for navigation. And, yes, it can charge via USB-C, too, if you’re not willing to wait for it to gather up all those RF waves.
Eco-friendly TV — The Eco Remote is a pretty cool tech trick. A remote consumes such little energy that it’s really the perfect candidate for alternative power sources like sunlight. Even ambient indoor light is enough to keep a remote powered for the average user.
Samsung hasn’t said all that much about how much power RF harvesting will actually give the Eco Remote, just that it collects radio waves and converts them to energy. It’s unclear how broad the Eco Remote’s harvesting spectrum is; router signals are mentioned explicitly in Samsung’s press release, but it’s entirely possible the remote could harvest other RF signals, too.
Shipping standard — Leaving batteries behind on such a low-energy piece of equipment might seem almost unnecessary. But all those little batteries add up to a veritable ton of e-waste. Samsung estimates more than 3 billion batteries could be saved globally in the next seven years if everyone were to switch to solar remotes.
The new Eco Remote will come standard along with all of Samsung’s 2022 TVs. Which means it’s a radio-powered remote that can be used to browse and sell non-fungible tokens. There’s a set of words we never thought we’d put together.