What if your old smartphone that is gathering dust in a drawer could be reimagined as another gadget in your home? That’s the idea behind Samsung’s new Galaxy Upcycling at Home initiative that the company unveiled at its CES 2021 showcase.
The company has tried similar initiatives in the past, but this new push is to encourage you to use your older smartphone in a new way as another home gadget, rather than recycle or dispose of it.
Examples shown off in the CES 2021 show include making your older Samsung Galaxy phone into a baby monitor using the phone’s microphone. It also suggests using the smartphone as a light sensor that could turn on the lights in your home for when your pets are home alone.
Samsung didn’t share any other specific examples in its CES 2021 video, but it seems like there may be many more applications for the technology. Samsung says, “You can decide how to repurpose your Galaxy for convenient home devices” which seems to suggest there will be more applications at launch.
It also mentioned that it would be updating the software on its phones this year to make this possible, so expect a similar push on this project coming later this year with an update that’s compatible with older phones.
Exactly how this will work is currently unclear, but it may be a specific app built by Samsung that offers functionality that can be used for your stagnant smartphone so you’re not letting it gather dust in a drawer.
It’s also unclear whether this will be an app that can be downloaded to other Android phones so you can do similar with phones from other brands. Samsung may widen this idea out to other manufacturer’s technology.