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  • This is a battery free Game Boy. If you open this up, there's nothing

  • that you would recognize as a battery in your phone or a double A that you've replaced back

  • in the old days with the original Game Boy. There's no need to ever plug this into the

  • wall. This looks like your classic old school Game Boy, but

  • really this is the beginning of this movement of these smart devices towards a sustainable

  • future of computing and the internet of things.

  • This is Engage, a battery-free Game Boy lookalike

  • that can play all the classics -- from Super Mario to Tetris to Space Invaders. While the

  • device looks and plays like a Game Boy, it's really something revolutionary.

  • The Engage platform is completely separate in terms of hardware from an actual Game Boy.

  • It's a different screen, different computer, different microprocessor, different buttons.

  • We completely redesigned from scratch even to the 3D housing, which we modeled it

  • closely after the Game Boy to give that nostalgic feel. The biggest difference is that Engage

  • harvests energy from the environment using a process called INTERMITTENT COMPUTING.

  • The Engage device harvests energy from these solar panels and these mechanical buttons.

  • So the buttons have these magnets that are pushed through coils. They change the magnetic

  • field and we harvest that changeThat's right -- playing the console actually powers

  • the console! The frequency of your button mashing will determine how much energy you

  • actually have. Then the solar panels are also gathering energy and eventually it all flows

  • into this processor, which lets us actually play Game Boy games, so you have unlimited

  • energy that you can gather from the environment, but you only have this trickle that is hard

  • to predict and is very dynamic. That intermittent power translates to a different type of game

  • play than what you might be used to. It harvests just enough energy to turn onthen it does

  • a little bit of computation, and then it dies. And I'm pressing

  • buttons fairly consistently like this, turning my tetromino blocks, we'll get like 10 seconds

  • of the screen on and then it might turn off. Then it turns back on.

  • The Engage platform

  • is actually saving almost a screenshot or a "save game" of exactly where I'm at when

  • I stopped playing or when I run out of energy. The internal workings of the device will actually

  • save the memory, really, really quickly to what's called F-RAM, this non-volatile memory

  • that persists through the power failure. And then when I go back and I'm playing the game, it'll go back

  • to that exact same place so that I don't lose any progress.

  • This is the beginning of a new era. Right now we have interruptions, but the key thing

  • here is that time, that interruption amount is going to continually decrease as we make

  • these systems better and better and more energy efficient. Sustainability and energy efficiency

  • are at the heart of this project. Engage is really a way to encourage people to

  • rethink all of their assumptions about what computing is and where the energy for computing

  • comes from. That was really our goal. Because it's becoming increasingly impossible to ignore

  • the effects of global heating and climate change. And as that continues to happen, we

  • will start seeking out these different ways to focus on renewables, reduce our footprints

  • and build devices that would be more sustainable. And it's also hard to ignore that there

  • are more connected devices on the planet than ever. In fact, there are actually more cell

  • phones than there are people on EarthAnd the number of connected devices is estimated

  • to hit A TRILLION in the next couple of decades! Now, it may seem pretty obvious -- but this

  • could be really bad for our environment. Researchers and tech journalists recently suggested that

  • the assembly of 100 million Playstation 4's sold in the last decade generated approximately

  • 9.8 million tons of CO2. That's more CO2 emitted than what countries like El Salvador

  • and Iceland produce annually! Other 21st century tech -- like smartphones, wearables,

  • and electric cars also impact the environment in their production. And what's turning

  • out to be really problematic -- they use lithium-ion batteries. The actual act of extraction itself

  • is incredibly difficult and damaging. It takes a huge amount of water, generally

  • fresh water to extract lithium from the Earth. And what's worse is that the main places that

  • you actually get lithium are in lands that unfortunately are already experiencing

  • water scarcity. But the problem with lithium-ion batteries isn't just in their manufacturing.

  • At some point, the battery's thrown outWe're already experiencing a

  • huge backlog in terms of being able to recycle this. There are just mountains of E-waste across

  • the world that we're not able to deal with. This imminent need to reduce electronic waste

  • is one of the driving forces behind Josiah's work in building a sustainable gaming console.

  • But Josiah's main motivation is rooted in his Native Hawaiian heritage. There's a indigenous

  • backdrop to all of this, and that is this concept of seventh generation decision-making

  • or seven generation sustainability. This idea of, I'm going to make decisions right now and maybe practices

  • that will benefit the many generations in front of me. The Engage embodies this long-term

  • approach to innovation. This is a proof by demonstration that sustainable gaming and

  • even smart devices can actually be built. We don't have to rely on this traditional

  • old school idea of using batteries and these non-renewable sources to power our smart devices.

  • We need to rethink now what we're doing so that the many generations in front of me

  • will be the beneficiary of these redesigns of how we do computation. It also helps that

  • -- like so many of us -- Josiah grew up gaming. Nostalgia and attachment,

  • to these devices like the Game Boy that really speak to something right deep

  • down that we want to inspire that feeling in people so they can connect this treasured

  • device that they've used, to sustainability and the rethinking of what

  • computing means as we're going forward in the next decade. Because this innovation isn't

  • just going to change the world of gaming. It could radically change our world as we

  • know it. You have everything from wearables, think of a battery-free Fitbit or smartwatch,

  • to implantable devices that can help give different types of therapeutics or information about you to things

  • that are shot into space that can measure the Earth's magnetosphere. This could go beyond

  • these types of devices that are for fun and joy, although we all need some joy. But really Engage

  • is trying to say, rethink, redesign, inspire radical creative approaches to addressing

  • e-waste and more broadly in mitigating the effects of climate change in all of society.

  • Remember, the next time someone questions your gaming the game you're playing could

  • inspire you to make the next great technological leap forwardMy mom called me; she saw the

  • Wall Street Journal article about the Game Boy. And she was like, "Wow, I guess, having

  • that Game Boy when you were eight actually turned out to be something like you said it

  • would." And I was like, "Told you. Gaming paid off, mom, after all this time.

This is a battery free Game Boy. If you open this up, there's nothing

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B1 game boy engage energy computing gaming battery

This Battery-Free Game Boy Will Last Forever

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/20
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