The global challenge of the 21st century is the accumulation of e-waste and the rapid obsolescence of the electronic products we use every day. For example, the average replacement time for our phones is less than two years, and advances in processors, screens and cameras have caused most users to throw away or abandon older devices.
The obvious paradox is that the devices we currently consider e-waste, because they are outdated, are often more powerful and capable than the more expensive computers we had available 15 years ago. So, can we use some creative solutions to reuse this technology in our lives? The answer is yes, so get your old smartphone out of the drawer and check out this article.
Smartphones as security cameras
Security cameras are nothing new, but in the last century we had to use low-resolution black and white images, and today we have an array of smart HD cameras that are constantly connected to the internet.
There’s nothing better than a smartphone, it’s important to avoid video blocking, follow basic digital security tips, such as configuring a firewall on your internet router, and avoid weak passwords (the most common passwords used in Portugal are listed on ExpressVPN, which should be Avoid), and enable biometrics when available. Then just install one of the security camera apps available in the app store, such as WardenCam, IP Webcam, and AtHome Camera.
There are many advantages to using your smartphone as a camera: these apps can recognize motion and automatically save videos to services like Google Drive, they can send notifications on your main smartphone, they work well with smart platforms like Google Home and IFTTT Integration, it is even possible to recognize objects using artificial intelligence. All with low power consumption and high definition.
Using your phone with apps like Google Maps and Waze on a car dashboard stand is nothing new. The problem is, using your current smartphone for this task presents a number of problems: exposure to sunlight and constant use can significantly reduce battery life, always-on screens can create burn-in issues on OLED screens, and turning the smartphone from Placement on the bracket will wear out the mechanism.
On the other hand, older smartphones have the same GPS signal accuracy, no need to worry about battery or screen quality, and can stay in the car to continuously calculate routes, act as a multimedia hub, and play music and podcasts.
Smart speakers have recently become a very common product category in Portugal and around the world. These devices combine the functionality of a Bluetooth stereo with the functionality of a digital assistant like Google Assistant. Because if we have an old Android and a speaker, we can create our own version without spending any money.
On your Android, install your favorite media apps, such as Spotify and Apple Music, and update the Google app to the latest version. In the application options, activate the command “Ok, Google” and train your voice and also have access to smartphone data. Now, just plug your smartphone into an outlet, connect your speakers, and place it in your living room or kitchen.
Smartphones will be able to receive voice commands to play music, set timers, look up information on the internet, organize schedules and shopping lists, answer questions and what you would expect from a virtual assistant. Plus, it’s easy to add high-quality speakers without spending a fortune.
smart alarm clock
The vast majority of people wake up to a simple and often stressful alarm every morning. But with a smartphone as an ally, it has the potential to change that experience. Can be combined with smart alarm clock apps, always-on clocks, background sounds and meditation apps to create unique experiences.
With this set of apps, the smartphone can monitor your night using the vibration pattern and microphone, automatically calculate the exact time to sleep and wake up, giving you energy and no headaches, plus the display keeps showing notifications, calendars , daily activity and temperature, you can program your smartphone to play nature sounds, waterfalls, rain, insects, and even soothing music while you lie down to sleep.
These are just a few of the utilities an old phone can offer: torrent servers, e-book readers, banking security tokens and even 4G routers, it’s impossible not to find interesting features for these versatile and powerful devices.