Researchers from Northwestern University in the United States and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have collaborated to create a handheld game console capable of providing unlimited time gameplay. This is a device that visually copies the classic Game Boy, differing from it in the absence of a rechargeable battery.
Instead of the usual battery, the energy-saving gaming platform uses solar panels located around the screen. The second power source is a system capable of harvesting energy from pressing control buttons. The device simulates the processor of the Game Boy console, due to which it supports the original cartridges from the retro gadget.
It should be noted that at the moment of switching between power supplies, there is a short-term loss of power. To ensure the stable operation of the console, researchers have created special hardware and software that helps to account for the level of power consumption to ensure high energy efficiency. In addition, a new technology has been created to save the state of the system in non-volatile memory, so that you can easily return to the gameplay when power appears. Simply put, the user can resume the game from where it was interrupted as soon as the device receives enough power.
According to the available data, on a not too cloudy day, a moderate number of button presses are enough to provide the device with energy. In this case, interruptions last less than 1 second for every 10 seconds of gameplay. This is enough to interact with some games like chess or solitaire, but not enough to play fast-paced games.
Researchers will talk in more detail about the work done at the online conference UbiComp 2020, which will be held in the middle of this month.