Samsung’s Upcycling at Home beta lets users old Galaxy devices into smart home sensors

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Do you have a selection of Samsung Galaxy devices gathering dust at home? The South Korean company’s Galaxy Upcycling at Home program is here to do something about it, assuming you’re not already doing the whole ‘downstreaming’ thing with your older smartphones.

Samsung has long had its eye on the internet of things (IoT) and the company’s upcycling program is an extension of this. Long story short, Samsung wants you to turn older Galaxy devices into SmartThings sensors, using a new feature in the SmartThings app.

Upcycling at Home

Specifically, Samsung’s downgrade program can be used to turn an older Galaxy into a sound or light sensor, using the device’s existing sensors (and a little software optimisation). A sound sensor is immediately a useful item — it could be used as a baby monitor, one that you can integrate with a Samsung smart home setup. Light sensors can also be used to automatically activate lighting or other devices when it gets dark enough outside.

These are cool enough functions, but don’t get too excited yet — the program has only just entered beta in three locations around the world. Users in the United States, the UK and in Korea will have access to the company’s upcycling beta, via the SmartThings Labs section of the SmartThings app. We’ve poked through the local version of the app and it doesn’t seem to be available here at all, so we can’t even sneak in and give it a try early.

Samsung’s head of SmartThings, Jaeyeon Jung, said, “The program transforms Galaxy devices into SmartThings devices and demonstrates the power of our intelligent IoT platform to broaden the possibilities of what users can do with their old phones. Through Galaxy Upcycling at Home, users will have access to the complete SmartThings ecosystem, enabling them to explore broader updates and features without having to purchase a new device.”

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