Say the batteries in your remote control die. You could get up and walk across the room to change the channel, or you could spend the next half hour looking for a spare set of batteries. I know what I’d do, and I’m not proud of it. But what if there was another way to provide a little extra juice for your remote?
Brother Industries has developed a vibration-powered generator that can be made the same size as AA or AAA batteries. All you have to do is shake the battery to generate a bit of extra power.
We probably won’t see this technology in laptops or other consumer electronics devices with high energy demands anytime soon. But it’s ideal for remote controls because they don’t require a constant flow of power and they tend to use less than 100mW of energy. In other words, all you have to do is shake the remote a bit before you change the channel. They’d also make pretty decent flashlight batteries.