Samsung announced a whole bunch of TVs at CES 2022. The list includes a Micro LED TV, a new Neo QLED TV and three new lifestyle TVs – The Frame, The Cero and The Serif. In addition, the Korean electronics company also introduced a new remote to control these TVs. Touted as the ‘SolarCell Remote’, the new remote is the successor to the company’s Echo Remote that was introduced at CES 2021 last year.
While Samsung’s Echo Remote is capable of using light—either from the sun or light sources—to charge its batteries, this year’s SolarCell Remote goes a step further. Not only is it able to charge its battery from ambient light indoors and out, but it’s also able to use radio-frequency sources around us such as Wi-Fi, which supports 2.4GHz of high-frequency works on. Of course, it cannot absorb energy from a remote radio frequency source. To do this it needs to be within a reasonable distance of 40 meters. If not, it uses ambient light to juice up its resources.
While this all sounds like a page from a science-fiction novel, the kind of things scientists hope to achieve one day, it really isn’t. Samsung’s new SolarCell remote supports a technology called ‘RF Harvesting’, which is increasing this remote’s charge in an unexpected way.
What is RF Harvesting and how does it work?
RF Harvesting or Radio Frequency is an energy conversion technique used to convert energy from radio waves into electrical energy. The radio spectrum is a part of the electromagnetic wave spectrum with a frequency between 3Hz and 300GHz, which is the radio frequency. For reference, most of the Wi-Fi routers we use in our homes operate between 2.4GHz to 6GHz.
RF Harvesting, also known as RF Power Scavenging, uses radio frequency sources in our homes such as Wi-Fi routers, TVs, phones and radios to convert the energy they continuously emit into electrical energy. are, which are used for electricity. All electronic equipment. Conceptually, this is similar to how sunlight or ambient light is used to power equipment.
How the whole system works is quite simple. RF waves are freely present in our environment. So, a device with an RF harvesting system – such as Samsung’s SolarCell remote – would have an antenna to capture the RF waves, which would then be converted into DC power, which is used by electronic devices. In addition, the system also includes a storage, which stores energy for the times when an external energy source is not available. This is somewhat similar to how a Bluetooth speaker stores power for times when you can’t use it by plugging it into a charging point.
What are the benefits of using this technology and how will it become a part of our lives?
Now, here a clear question arises that what are the benefits of using this technology and how will it be a part of our life going forward? The answer to this question is quite simple and easy to understand. E-waste or electronic waste is a raging global issue at the moment. Millions of disposable batteries end up in landfills every year. Not only do they pollute our land, rendering it useless – at least as far as agriculture is concerned – but the chemicals in these batteries also pollute water sources below the soil.
In such circumstances, using equipment with RF harvesting functionality can help in rapidly reducing the electronic waste generated globally. All of this will ultimately be beneficial to our environment.
But there is more to it than that. Using equipment with RF Harvesting technology will also help in reducing our overall energy consumption. Radio waves are almost everywhere and more importantly they are unlike the conventional energy we find in our homes, which we have to pay for. Therefore, devices that use radio waves to juice up their batteries will essentially be charging themselves for free and will have an RF source available almost at all times.
Additionally, using this technology will also result in more efficient product design as equipment using RF harvesting technology will not require a separate port for charging or as a power source. In addition, it will also protect the equipment from the source of moisture.
Theoretically, this technology can be used anywhere where batteries are being used. Samsung’s SolarCell remote is just one of many use-cases for the same. It can be used in power banks and even AIoT devices to extend battery life and make the network efficient.
That said, this technology is still in the development stage and needs to be worked on to integrate it among the lineup of existing devices.
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