Samsung's Galaxy Upcycling at Home arrives in time for Earth Day to repurpose your old phones
What you need to know
- Samsung has launched the beta of its Galaxy Upcycling at Home program.
- The program will be available via the Samsung SmartThings app.
- Users will be able to turn their old Galaxy smartphones into IoT devices.
Earth Day is here, and to celebrate its appreciation of our planet, Samsung has announced the beta of its Galaxy Upcycling at Home program in the U.S., UK, and Korea. First announced back at CES 2021, Galaxy Upcycling at Home allows anyone with an older Galaxy smartphone to repurpose their device using the SmartThings app instead of just tossing it. According to Jaeyeon Jung, VP & Head of the SmartThings team, this program can open up a world of possibilities for transforming one's home into a smart home:
One application for the Galaxy Upcycle at Home program is to turn your device into a sound sensor. The Galaxy smartphone will detect and distinguish various sounds, save, and send them to the user's smartphone. This can work on different noises like dogs barking, knocks at the door, and even a baby crying, essentially turning your old Galaxy device into a baby monitor.
Galaxy Upcycling at Home can also turn your device into a light sensor. This way, if the device senses that it's become dark, it can automatically turn on your lights or your TV if they're also connected to the SmartThings ecosystem.
Supported devices include Galaxy S, Note, and Z smartphones launch as far back as 2018. That would mean phones as "old" as the Galaxy S9 to some of the best Samsung phones today like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, with more devices supported in the future. And since upcycled devices have to work continuously to function as effective IoT devices, they're given certain battery optimizations to minimize power use. You can find instructions on how to get started in the SmartThings app under "Notices."
Samsung has been a big proponent of recycling and upcycling smartphones since 2015 and has continuously worked to reduce waste by finding helpful ways to reuse old devices. In countries like Vietnam and India, Samsung has used its upcycling program to use its Galaxy devices to help diagnose certain eye conditions that may lead to blindness. And with its used cell phone collection program, Samsung extracts precious materials like gold, silver, and bronze from old devices and gives them back to the community.
So you can do your part to help reduce electronic waste by giving your old phone new life or even picking one up at some of the best places to buy a refurbished phone. And if you have phones lying around that you can't find a use for, we can show you how to recycle your old Android phone.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.