A company called Green Peak has developed new low cost/low power radio technology for remote controls. Instead of that annoying point-it-a-device IR remote that needs new batteries every year, Green Peak's remotes could last the life of the device it controls on a pair of cheap lithium ion button batteries.
Not only does this technology enable better remote controls - they'll work through walls up to nearly a hundred feet away - but could help eliminate the 8 billion dead remote control AA and AAA batteries that are tossed into the garbage each year.
Green Peak is hoping its technology gets combined with a new RF remote control standard called RF4CE being developed by Panasonic, Philips, Samsung and Sony. We could see a lot more RF remote controls being included with HDTVs and Blu-ray players in the fall. But Green Peak's name won't be on any of them, despite what you see in the picture. They're selling their technology to folks who make the remote controls.