If you ever owned an original Game Boy, you’ll remember the desperate need for batteries. Thankfully, this prototype video game console runs on solar power, so there’s no need for charging or going on the hunt for batteries.
Running On Sunlight And Button Mashing
Researchers at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. have developed a prototype handheld games console with sustainability at its core. The Game Boy-style console can run on nothing other than solar power and users pressing the buttons.
Those buttons contain small magnets which move through a wire coil when pressed. That change in the magnetic field can be used to charge and power the device.
In a well-lit room, the game can run for 10 seconds before the power drops out if the user isn’t pressing the buttons. However, thanks to the software the console is running, games are paused and can be resumed when the power is restored. It means gamers won’t lose their progress if they don’t press the buttons quickly enough.
Changing The Tech
The new video game console was inspired by the Game Boy, and even runs the old classics like Tetris, Pokemon, and Super Mario Land. The team of researchers built their new console from scratch, opting not to use original parts because they use too much energy.
Instead, the hardware that’s running on this prototype is five to 10 times less power-hungry than the original. The hope of this games console is to encourage people to reduce electronic waste from handheld games and mobile devices.
This battery-free alternative could one day change the way people play video games forever.
Handheld video games have always relied on batteries to keep gamers entertained. It looks like times are changing and a more sustainable solution to gaming could be just around the corner thanks to this prototype.
Android Phones Are Now Going To Be Able To Detect Earthquakes
Earthquakes happen from time to time, and there’s not much we can do to stop them. That obviously isn’t reassuring to hear given the impact that they can have on lives and property. However, thanks to a new development for Android smartphones, we can now better track when earthquakes happen and hopefully defend against them.
A Brand New Feature
A recent update to Android phones means that any device running operating system 5.0 or above can detect seismic activity. It does this automatically and then sends the data to Google, allowing people in the area to be notified of a nearby earthquake. It’s able to do this through the smartphone’s accelerometer, a feature that’s built into the product. Initially, this was only used for things like the compass app, but now, it has a whole new purpose.
It Could Save Lives
This new feature has the potential to help a lot of people take action and avoid coming to any harm during an earthquake. If seismic activity is detected nearby, their phone will come up with a notification alerting them to the fact. It will tell them that the earthquake may impact them soon, giving them time to find cover and wait for the disaster to be over. Although Android phones still won’t be able to predict an event like this before it happens, at least they can help spread the word once the tremors begin.
Rolling Out In California
Unfortunately, not everyone will have access to this notification service right away. It’s only people in California who will initially benefit the most from this new feature. Although Android phones all across the world will be collecting information, people in other states and countries will have to wait a little longer to receive such notifications.
Here’s hoping that the next time an earthquake hits California, lives will be saved because of Android’s intervention.