Samsung expands its upcycling programme

Upcycling update: Samsung helps customers turn old Galaxy phones into IoT devices

Consumer electronics company Samsung has launched ‘Galaxy Upcycling at Home’, an initiative to help consumers put their old phones to new use.

The programme aims to give new life to older Galaxy smartphones by converting them into a variety of Internet of Things (IoT) devices via a software update. Through the scheme, users can turn their old Galaxy devices into products such as childcare monitors and pet care solutions.

Samsung has this week implemented the beta service for Galaxy Upcycling at Home in the US, the UK and Korea. The Galaxy Upcycling at Home feature is available on all S, Note, and Z series released from 2018 (S9, Note9 or later) running Android 9 and above.

Additional Samsung devices will be able to support this feature in the future.

How it works

The Galaxy Upcycling at Home programme provides enhanced sound and light-control features, by repurposing sensors built into the phone. By accessing SmartThings Labs, a feature within the SmartThings app, consumers can find a new use for their phone.

For example, following this process can enable users to save certain sound recordings, meaning the device will detect sounds such as a baby crying, dog barking, cat meowing, or a knock, and send an alert directly to their new smartphone.

Preloved phones can also be used as a light sensor to measure the brightness level of the room, with users able to set the device to automatically turn on the lights or the TV through SmartThings.

Samsung said it has optimised battery power as part of the upcycling programme upgrade.

Jaeyeon Jung, vice president & head of the SmartThings team at Samsung’s mobile communications business, remarked: “Smart home devices are a fast-growing trend for consumer electronics, and we believe that Galaxy devices currently not in use can play an important role in turning every home into a smart home.

“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.”

Green agenda

The initiative is part of Samsung’s commitment to the United Nations-led ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, an ecologically themed global blueprint. The Galaxy Upcycling at Home specifically focuses on the ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’ part of the agenda by reducing waste and promoting more sustainable production practices and consumer behaviour.

Samsung said it is focused on greater use of sustainable materials, extending product longevity, and reusing resources.

Sung-Koo Kim, vice president of the sustainability management office, which is part of Samsung’s mobile communications business, said: “We are rethinking how we use existing resources, and we believe the key to upcycling is to enable solutions that transform old technology into something new by adding value.”

Read more about e-waste on Green Retail World 

[Image credit: Samsung Electronics]

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