Device waste is a pretty major issue, and earlier this year, Samsung announced a new SmartThings feature meant to fight against it. Dubbed Galaxy Upcycling at Home, this feature allows you to repurpose old Galaxy phones as IoT devices through the SmartThings app. Today, the Galaxy Upcycling at Home program is expanding with a beta test that’s landing in a few major regions around the world.
The Galaxy Upcycling at Home beta is going live today in the United States, the UK, and Korea. With this program, you can essentially turn an old Galaxy smartphone into a SmartThings device that can be used in a couple of different ways. For starters, that Galaxy smartphone can be used as an AI sound-sensing device that can distinguish certain sounds from environmental noise and push alerts to your smartphone when it detects those sounds.
The example Samsung gives is that of detecting a baby crying and alerting the user with a recording. Old Samsung smartphones can also be used with SmartThings for light control. When the ambient light sensor on a smartphone detects the room getting darker, it can turn the lights on automatically. These are fairly straightforward uses, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see Samsung roll out more functionality for old smartphones as the beta progresses on.
Samsung also announced today that Galaxy Upcycling at Home will optimize battery usage to keep these phones continuously detecting lights and sounds, but unfortunately, it didn’t go into much detail about that. Still, if you’re worried that the battery in your old phone isn’t going to cut it when used as an IoT device, at least there will be something in the way of battery optimization.
If you’re in the US, UK, or Korea and you have an old Galaxy smartphone lying around with a SmartThings set up to use it with, you can get up and running with Galaxy Upcycling at Home through the SmartThings app. We’ll let you know when Samsung announces more for the Upcycling at Home program, so stay tuned.