In a bid to minimize electronic wastes and make everyday life more convenient for its consumers, Samsung is expanding its Galaxy “Upcycling at Home” program to enable users to turn their old smartphones into IoT solutions instead of leaving them in a drawer or sending them to a landfill.
Samsung announced that this sustainable initiative will enable consumers to repurpose their old smartphones into smart home devices, such as a security device, a light sensor, a pet care tool, or a baby listening monitor.
To enable these new features, Samsung said it’ll release a software update to older Galaxy devices that will allow owners to choose how they want to use their devices.
According to Samsung, “The new initiative recreates the lifecycle of an aged Galaxy phone and provides users choices on how they could repurpose their phone to make a range of useful IoT tools.”
The Upcycling program by Samsung was originally announced in 2017 as a viable way to encourage sustainability by repurposing old devices for new uses though very little was heard about the program since then. However, during the CES 2021 on January 11th, Samsung announced an improved version of the program called “Galaxy Upcycling at home”.
In a video released by the company, Samsung revealed that it has previously reimagined some of its older phones into portable eye-examining devices.
As electronic wastes become a major problem due to the rise in smartphone popularity, Samsung’s “Upcycling at Home” program is an innovative and clever way to minimize the impact of e-wastes by extending the life of older devices via repurposing. Samsung mentioned in a press release that the beta version of the Galaxy Upcycling at Home program has been launched in the US, the UK, and South Korea. Any interested consumer can participate through the “SmartThings Labs” found within the “SmartThings” app.
Once you add your old Galaxy device(s) to SmartThings, your old device(s) would be recognized as an IoT device(s) and you would be able to see and control the device(s) from the SmartThings app.
Currently, the only smart devices supported by the program include all Galaxy S, Galaxy Note, and Galaxy Z series released from 2018 to date and running Android 9 Pie or later. However, Samsung stated that “more devices will be supported in the future,” to hopefully include some “A series” devices.
Although lots of people have already upcycled their Apple devices, we don’t know exactly when Samsung will start rolling out these upcycling features, but we hope it’ll happen soon. Once Upcycling at Home by Samsung is launched, we’ll be sure to let you know.
It’s also worth knowing that since the upcycled Galaxy devices would be working continuously, Samsung will roll out some battery optimizations program for them, so that they do not just go off while in use due to battery drainage. To get more instructions and information on how to get started, install the SmartThings app on your smartphone and navigate to Notices.
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