Samsung has decided to help owners of some old Galaxy smartphones breathe life into them and find new uses for them. Through the Galaxy Upcycling at Home program, users can download a special update that will turn their smartphone into a smart home sensor with some interesting features. Such a device, for example, can detect the sound of a crying baby, turn on a lamp or perform other actions. Samsung’s initiative is limited to certain smartphone models that were released no earlier than 2018.
The program, which was first announced at CES 2021, is active in the US, UK and South Korea from today (April 21). To participate in it, users need to download a special update through the SmartThings app, after which the smartphone will turn into an IoT device and will perform two main functions. The first is to pick up and distinguish sounds: a crying baby, barking dogs, meowing a cat or knocking on a door. When one of them is detected, the smartphone sends an alert to the other mobile device along with the sound recording.
Another function is associated with a light sensor, which allows the smartphone to monitor the light level in the room and automatically turn on the light when the brightness level falls below a set threshold. This feature uses up the battery power of your device, so Samsung has provided the battery optimizations necessary to use your smartphone for extended periods of time. However, the company did not specify how long it will be able to work without recharging as such a sensor.