via Northwestern University
Button pressing and solar energy power the retro gaming device
- Researchers develop first-ever battery-free, energy-harvesting, interactive device
- Looking and feeling like an 8-bit Nintendo Game Boy, the device can play games straight from their original cartridges
- Ultimate goal of battery-free computing is to reduce society’s reliance on batteries, which are costly, environmentally hazardous and end up in landfills
A hand-held video game console allowing indefinite gameplay might be a parent’s worst nightmare.
But this Game Boy is not just a toy. It’s a powerful proof-of-concept, developed by researchers at Northwestern University and the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands, that pushes the boundaries of battery-free intermittent computing into the realm of fun and interaction.
Instead of batteries, which are costly, environmentally hazardous and ultimately end up in landfills, this device harvests energy from the sun — and the user. These advances enable gaming to last forever without having to stop and recharge the battery.
“It’s the first battery-free interactive device that harvests energy from user actions,” said Northwestern’s Josiah Hester, who co-led the research. “When you press a button, the device converts that energy into something that powers your gaming.”
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