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Samsung moves to solar powered TV remote controls

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By Nick Flaherty

The TV remote controls can be recharged from indoor light as well as via the USB-C interface. The move away from disposable AAA cells will help to reduce the 99m cells that are thrown away every year.

This is a significant move for indoor rechargeable technology from a major TV maker, although the lifetime of the remotes is reported to be only two years. This is dependent on the cycle lifetime of the rechargeable batteries used.

The TV remote controls are launched at CES 2021 this week for Samsung’s OLED TVs and 24 per cent of each unit is plastic from recyclable bottles. Plastic suppliers to companies suich as Samsung are increasing the proportion of recycled plastic in the feedstock.

As well as teh solar powered TV remote controls, Samsung is also reducing the number of images it prints on its cardboard packaging with oil-based inks to allow more recycling.

Various companies have been driving the development of indoor solar cells. These include Sharp, which invested in Lightricity, a spinout of Oxford University and teamed with Renesas Electronics. The cells were demonstrated at CES 2020 last year in a smart paper system using the energy harvesting chips from e-peas in Belgium.

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