It can be the golden dream of many or the nightmare of some: a portable video game console that never needs to be charged. As a fan of technology and the advancement of science, it is an incredible achievement. Now, as a parent … The reality is that this Game Boy is not just fun, but a proof of concept, developed by researchers at Northwestern University and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) that seeks to demonstrate that, at least in the video game industry, it is possible to create a portable device without a battery.
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The console uses small solar panels and the energy of the user when pressing the keys, to dispense with the battery. In this way,avoids the whole process of manufacturing and recycling (when done) of old batteries. “It is the first interactive device without a battery that uses the energy generated by the user. When you press a button, the device converts that energy into something that fuels your game, ”explains Josiah Hester , co-author of the research.
The device, dubbed ENGAGE (a play on words since it means commitment in English, but it is also short for “energy-conscious gaming platform”) has the size and design of the original Game Boy, so much so that its processor It has been adapted to allow you to play any game directly from its original cartridge. To ensure a constant flow of power, the researchers designed the system’s hardware and software from scratch. They also developed a new technique to store the state of the system in non-volatile memory, minimizing overhead. This eliminates the need to press “save” as seen on traditional platforms., as the player can now continue the game from the exact point where the device completely loses power (if we leave it in a drawer and do not play for a while), even if Mario is in the middle of a jump.
“Sustainable games will become a reality and we took a big step in that direction, by ditching the battery completely,” concludes Przemyslaw Pawelczak , co-head of the study in a statement . “With our platform, we want to show that it is possible to create a sustainable gaming system that brings fun and joy to the user. Our work is the antithesis of the Internet of Things, which has many battery-powered devices.Those batteries are difficult to recycle, eventually end up in the trash, and if they are not completely discharged, they can become dangerous.. We want to build devices that are more sustainable and can last for decades. “