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Have an Old Samsung Phone? Galaxy 'Upcycling at Home' Can Make it Useful Again

Have an Old Samsung Phone? Galaxy 'Upcycling at Home' Can Make it Useful Again

Announced at CES 2021, Samsung’s Upcycle at Home plan aims to turn your phone into a smart home product, making discarded, redundant hardware useful again.

Samsung has announced its renewed efforts at sustainability and recycling during its 30-minute presentation ahead of the opening day of Consumer Electronics Show 2021. Among other things, Samsung announced its new programme of Upcycling at Home – a venture that seeks to put old, discarded smartphones lying at home to some good use. With this strategy, Samsung aims to push software updates to old Samsung Galaxy smartphones lying in your drawers. While it is not quite clear as to how the exact process will pan out, these updates will apparently turn old Galaxy smartphones into smart home and IoT devices such as a smart pet buzzer, smart fire alarm, long-range universal remote control, smart baby monitor and so on.

The initiative may eventually seen widespread adoption among many other smartphone companies, but for now, Samsung appears to be leading the way. The underlying logic is that any smartphone, however old or new, will have a set of sensors, and a network connectivity chip. As a result, even if the device’s processor degrades over time, and is no longer good enough for offering users smooth performance, the sensors and the connectivity chip largely remains good enough. In a bid to make them useful, in turn preventing the use of more chips (and therefore more natural resources) that would be required in the making of smart home and IoT gadgets, Samsung is seeking out these old smartphones to use them as beacons of sorts.

The move makes sense, too. For instance, having a smartphone’s internal temperature sensor and camera to turn it into a no-cost, smart fire alarm can save both money and increase ease of use. What is not clear as of now is exactly which of Samsung’s older phones will be eligible for getting these software updates, and how these updates will be rolled out. It isn’t clear if users will be required to go to a website and manually request for these updates, or if there would be a new update pushed automatically to eligible devices, that would help users turn their old Galaxy smartphones into something useful.

More details on the matter should surface once Samsung starts implementing this change in real life. The Samsung Upcycling at Home programme will likely go live in select nations in a couple of months’ time.


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