Samsung ‘upcycling’ program turns old phones into IoT devices

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Samsung Electronics is expanding its Galaxy Upcycling program where it turns old or unused Galaxy mobile devices into Internet of Things (IoT) hubs, CCTV systems, gaming consoles, and even desktop PCs. With the announcement of Galaxy Upcycling at Home, these Galaxy smartphones can now be converted into different IoT devices through a software update.

Samsung Upcycling

By repurposing the hardware of older generation Galaxy devices, users can now transform these smartphones into childcare monitors, pet care solutions, and different tools depending on their lifestyle. Currently in its beta stage, this service is now live in the US, UK, and Korea.

The process begins through the built-in feature SmartThings Labs in the SmartThings mobile application. To transform the devices into monitors, the app will enhance sound and light controls by tweaking the sensors. With the company’s own AI solution, it can distinguish the sounds in everyday surroundings and send out an alert to the user when it detects a pre-programmed sound such as a baby crying or a dog barking.

Light sensors also undergo the same repurposing, allowing users to automatically turn on the lights or television sets to match the preset lighting in a darkening environment. Since the devices will now be operating in longer periods of time but with less strain when it comes to the workload, the Galaxy Upcycle at Home upgrade will also include battery optimization solutions to match the new energy demands.

Samsung Electronics vice president Jaeyeon Jung said that smart home devices are a fast-growing trend for consumer electronics today and that Galaxy devices currently not in use can play a role in turning any home into a smart home.

“The program transforms Galaxy devices into SmartThings devices and demonstrates the power of our intelligent IoT platform to broaden the possibilities of what users can do with their old phones. Through Galaxy Upcycling at Home, users will have access to the complete SmartThings ecosystem, enabling them to explore broader updates and features without having to purchase a new device,” Jung.

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