Brother Gives a New Shake on Rechargeable Batteries

The venerable battery.
Photograph: Marc Simon
I’ve always been impressed with my roommate’s watch: It powers itself using a gyroscope that generates electricity as he moves around. Now, Japanese company Brother--best known in the US for its printers--has developed a device that can be recharged just by shaking it, according to BBC News. What makes this device special is that it can be used in place of traditional AA batteries. So far, the device has been seen powering a TV remote, a LED flashlight and a remote switch for a lamp.

Obviously, Brother's battery replacements have the benefit of cutting down on the waste of batteries and with the added benefit of using less electricity than rechargeable batteries. They’re designed to work with lower voltage (4-8 Hz) appliances, it seems like a great start to another type of conservation technology.

The technology may have a way to go before it's ready for use in actual products. BBC’s Michael Fitzpatrick reports that the TV remote control would require a shake after 10-30 button presses.

That said, the technology is exciting, especially considering my wireless mouse's batteries died while I was writing this. The thought of shaking to get an immediate charge sounds especially appealing. An application that would make perfect sense would be using the Brother batteries is to power a Wiimote for the Nintendo Wii, a device that is already shaken normally.

So far, Brother doesn’t have plans to sell the batteries, saying that they need to wait on developing a business plan. What do you all think? Appealing product as is? Or would the technology have to be developed further?

[via BBC News]

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