I hate replacing remote control batteries

SONY DSCIt’s not like remote controls are in constant use. They lay on the coffee table all day and night, waiting for the 60 seconds a day that you actually want to use it. It is really frustrating when the batteries are getting low on their charge. I go out of my way to contort my body to ensure that I am pointing the remote directly at the IR sensor of the cable box. I press the button harder in case that helps deliver more juice to the transmitter. When that doesn’t work, I see if the TV remote has batteries that work — darn it, that one takes AAA batteries. Now what? I get up and walk over to the junk drawer in the kitchen that contains a bunch of C batteries, a single D battery, two 9-volt batteries — I put one of them on my tongue to feel the metallic shock like I used to when I was a kid — and a couple of loose AA batteries from different brands in the bottom. I grab those and come back to the couch and replace both batteries. Nothing. Now I take one of the old ones, and one of the ones from the bottom of the junk drawer. Nope. Now I switch them around. Nada. You get the point, by this time it would have been so much easier to get off my butt and walk over to the cable box and change the channel.

Remote Control:
* Used seldom for short periods of time
* Batteries lose effectiveness over time
* Pain in the butt when batteries are dying or dead

shake_flashlightWhen we go camping, we try and be as green as possible. We have totes made out of plastic screen so we don’t bring those plastic grocery store bags into the woods. We have a crank powered lanterns, and also bought a couple of those shake weight style flashlights. The problem with the flashlights is you have to shake them for a while as they build up enough charge to run the LED lights. Then, on your walk to the bathroom, the light starts to dim so you have to start shaking the flashlight again. It isn’t easy to shake a flashlight and walk while trying to point the flashlight where you are heading so you don’t trip on a log.

Shake Flashlight:

* Shaking only provides short term power
* No batteries to replace, ever
* Faraday induction power source

My aha moment — If I could replace the batteries in my remote with a Faraday induction power source that I have in my frustrating flashlight, then I would never have to replace my remote batteries again! †

Since I’m not an electronic circuit guru yet, I would obviously pass my thoughts on how this could be done by one of my friends who fiddle with circuits all the time to vet the concept. I imagine, one would need to regulate the output power of the Faraday coil and charged capacitor to be a steady 3v (2 AA batteries worth). I’d recommend an audible indicator from the battery when the coil has built up just the right amount of juice to transmit my IR signal to the TV for a minute or two between charges while I channel surf. We could make this shake battery in various sizes to accommodate for end to end and side by side remote control battery compartments.

† Open idea disclaimer – This post is an idea I had to improve an existing product, website feature, or whatever.  I didn’t check to see if anyone was already doing this.  I have no idea if some troll has a patent on it.  I believe that ideas are a dime a dozen, and that it is execution that makes ideas turn into worthwhile things.  Since I don’t have time or the ambition to pursue this idea, I am openly posting it on my blog.  If you take this idea and make a few bucks, buy me a beer.  If you make millions, I’ll take a nice bottle of 30 year Scotch.

About Rob

Product visionary, problem solver, eCommerce marketer, comparison shopping guy, marketplace maker, evening entrepreneur, friend, husband, and father.

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