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Toss the batteries! Samsung's amazing new remote uses your Wi-Fi to charge

Samsung Eco Remote
(Image credit: Samsung)
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Samsung's SolarCell Remote may be the first-ever to wirelessly charge via your router.

The South Korean tech giant took the solar-powered Eco Remote (opens in new tab) it introduced at last year's CES and gave it a remarkable upgrade for CES 2022: the ability to harvest RF signals from your router to maintain a charge.

The concept of RF Energy harvesting is not new. The ubiquity of RF signals from Wi-Fi and outdoor cellular systems makes them an attractive, low-power energy solution for systems that can't necessarily be connected to AC or DC wiring. But this may be the first time the technology has been employed in consumer electronics. Unlike other wireless charging solutions, such as the near-field Qi, the Eco Remote remote control doesn't have to be very near or in contact with the router (it only works with 2.4GHz RF signals). RF Energy Harvesting can - unobstructed - reach devices up to 40 meters away.

Samsung SolarCell Remote

The new Samsung SolarCell Remote (Image credit: Samsung)

Since the remote doesn't need a charging base and employs a pair of wireless charging technologies (solar and RF energy harvesting), it can constantly sip energy from your router and, if face down, the solar panel on the back that can charge via your end table lamp. According to Samsung, the remote doesn't need or even have batteries. There must be some place to store the sipped energy, however. Samsung told us, "There is no lithium-ion battery in the remote." What it does have, according to Samsung, is a capacitor. A capacitor can store small amounts of energy. Unlike batteries that do it chemically, capacitors do it physically in a form akin to static electricity.

"Whether it’s a bright and sunny day or the middle of the night, the battery stays fully charged by collecting routers’ radio waves and converting them to energy," Samsung representatives told TechRadar.

The SolarCell Remote is made from recycled materials and now comes in black or white (the previous model was available in black, only). Samsung said it ships with every 2022 Samsung QLED 4K and 8K TV.

A 35-year industry veteran and award-winning journalist, Lance has covered technology since PCs were the size of suitcases and “on line” meant “waiting.” He’s a former Lifewire Editor-in-Chief, Mashable Editor-in-Chief, and, before that, Editor in Chief of PCMag.com and Senior Vice President of Content for Ziff Davis, Inc. He also wrote a popular, weekly tech column for Medium called The Upgrade.


Lance Ulanoff (opens in new tab) makes frequent appearances on national, international, and local news programs including Live with Kelly and Ryan, Fox News, Fox Business, the Today Show (opens in new tab), Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, and the BBC.