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Solar-powered handheld console could be played infinitely

/ 06:14 PM September 12, 2020
solar power

This Game Boy lookalike works without a battery. Image: courtesy of Northwestern University via AFP Relaxnews

A Game Boy capable of running indefinitely without a single battery — that’s the creation of a team of American and Dutch researchers.

How does it work? you’re probably asking. Well, quite simply, through solar energy and the energy produced while playing. At the moment, this Game Boy lookalike handheld is only a prototype, so it’s still a long way off from being commercially available.

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While the team definitely looked to the Game Boy for design inspiration, for the rest, everything is original, starting with the absence of a battery. The lack of a battery is compensated by a two-pronged system for energy recharging.

The first takes the form of solar collectors, with sufficient light allowing the machine to function normally. As a backup system, in order to be able to continue to play, even when there is less light, is to regularly press the buttons. This means that as long as you are playing, the machine can continue to operate since it is constantly powered.

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Of course, the prototype console is much more basic than a Game Boy, with a very small screen and no sound. And at the moment the system is not yet fully reliable, with players subject to recurring mini interruptions. But even if its designers agree that this is only a first step, it is nevertheless an essential step towards a truly sustainable technology.

The idea, of course, is to one day be able to do without batteries in portable electronic devices, which would help address many issues of manufacturing, recycling and programmed obsolescence.

This prototype is to be presented at the UbiComp conference to be held from Sept. 12 to 17, 2020, held virtually this year due to the health crisis. IB

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TOPICS: Game Boy, Gaming, Gaming Consoles, Nintendo, Renewable Energy, Solar power, Video games
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