Here's a great way to avoid changing batteries in your remote control: use a remote that doesn't need any batteries at all. This design concept by NEC and Soundpower uses the vibrations of your fingers pushing the buttons to power a volume control, channel switching and on/off. Sure beats operating a remote with a hand crank.
NEC says the two companies are actively working on a practical prototype, vowing to offer it to other manufacturers by 2011. So if the world is out of energy by then, we can still change the channels without using batteries as we watch TV by candlelight. Just kidding.
Via Zatz Not Funny