The power consumed by batteries in TV remote controllers probably isn’t a major contributor to global warming, but every little helps, which is presumably why a Japanese firm has come up with a battery-free remote.

SMK recently demonstrated a prototype ‘No Battery Remote Control’ that uses elbow grease to generate the 20-30mA of electric current needed to send infrared signals a few metres from an LED.

Trigger effect

The device looks a little like a plastic toy gun, with a trigger used to activate the internal dynamo that generates the power.

A single squeeze of the trigger tells the TV to switch to the next channel up, while two shots in quick succession make it switch to standby mode. SMK has no commercial plans for the remote, but is likely to build on the concepts it showcases.