The availability of smartphones has undoubtedly made many things easier for the current generation. You want to buy groceries; there’s an app for it. Websites even help you with something as personal as unlocking chakras and meditating.
Needless to say, smartphones have become a crucial part of the 21st-century lifestyle.
However, it is also true that smartphones lose their capabilities over time and become obsolete. This gives rise to e-waste, which is now becoming a major concern for all of us. The waste generated from electronic devices and their packaging is affecting the environment around us. In order to coexist with nature, we need options that can promote sustainability.
Samsung, one of the leading electronics manufacturers of the world, has taken the initiative to reduce the waste generated from their products. The Samsung Galaxy Upcycling at Home program is making a difference by helping the users recycle their old smartphones for other functions.
What Is Samsung’s Galaxy Upcycling Program?
Samsung started the Galaxy Upcycling program in 2017. This program aims to reuse old smartphones in new and creative ways – from developing an arcade machine to an automatic feeder.
In this program, the electronics are not just pulled apart and recycled but are used as building blocks for entirely new devices. The goal is to reimagine used phones for new roles.
Last year, Samsung created portable eye examination devices using old Galaxy phones for organizations in need. In fact, the program has won multiple awards for its innovative approach to sustainability from the US Environmental Protection Agency and other organizations.
This program encourages technology to solve our social needs while improving product lifecycle and reducing waste.
Samsung Galaxy Upcycling at Home
At CES 2021, Samsung has announced an update to its Galaxy Upcycling program called Galaxy Upcycling at Home. Unlike the other updates that are generally meant for the new line of smartphones, this update was dedicated to the older Galaxy line smartphones, which many do not use anyone.
Last year, Samsung came up with eco-packaging for a majority of its TV products. One could repurpose the TV boxes as small-scale pieces of furniture. These efforts won the company the Innovation Award at CES 2020.
Samsung wanted to find a way for you to play a more crucial part in Upcycling. With the update of the software, you can decide how to repurpose your Galaxy for convenient home devices. In a YouTube video, the company demonstrates several ways you can use your old Galaxy smartphone for other useful functions.
Childcare tool with sound sensor
You can upcycle a Galaxy smartphone into a childcare tool. In this case, the sensors in your phone monitor the audio around your baby and send an alert to your current phone if it hears the baby crying. This function can help you sleep without any worry if your kid is in another room. You can go to the baby after getting the alert and take care of your baby.
Pet care solution with a light sensor:
The program is also useful for people who have pets at their home. Your old Galaxy phone can serve as a long-distance remote to help you turn on the lights if your pet is home alone.
The light sensor in the Galaxy mobile senses the low light in the area and sends an alert to your current phone. You can turn on the smart lights at home remotely.
Samsung Knox security platform:
The in-built security features in Samsung mobiles also help you create a digitally-safe home. Samsung Knox is a mobile security solution that offers a secure environment for corporate data and apps for every Galaxy device.
It helps you protect your privacy from one device without the need for any third-party IT protection.
These technologies allow the old Samsung Galaxy phones to be useful even in today’s date. The idea behind this initiative is to offer a better, more inclusive, and sustainable future. Through these programs, Samsung wants its users to live more sustainably, with an easily achievable, DIY approach, allowing people to do their part in helping our planet.
What Can You Do with Your Non-Galaxy Smartphones?
If you are not a Samsung Galaxy smartphone user, you can still repurpose the old smartphones for other functions.
Turn it into a kid-friendly device
In today’s date, even toddlers know how to use a smartphone. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of elementary schools are asking the parents to let the children learn from the smartphone. Instead of giving an old phone as it is to your kid, make some changes (parental lock) in the settings to turn the device into a kid-friendly device.
Turn it into a security cam
If you have a kid or a pet at home or want to monitor what happens at home in your absence, you can fit your old smartphone in one place with a mobile tripod and start recording.
You can check the footage later to learn what goes around at your home. This can actually play the role of a surveillance camera. Apart from security, smartphones also make excellent IPTV streaming devices for your entertainment.
Develop a handheld gaming device
If you are into mobile gaming, you can customize your old mobile phone into a gaming device. You can buy controllers and/or adapters that turn a mobile device into a much more comfortable and traditional game machine.
You can find such mobile controllers on the internet. However, you must check the compatibility of the device with your phone. Although some cheap 4K graphics cards cost less than smartphones, it’s still a worthy investment.
Apart from these, you can also use your old device as a dedicated mp3 player, a digital radio, and even a second mobile for secure communication.
We need to think of other ways to reduce the amount of e-waste we generate every year. Samsung’s initiative is certainly a great boost for people trying to make a difference in society.
In the coming days, we may see a lot more companies taking a similar approach to building a better and more sustainable society.