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Samsung Galaxy Upcycling at Home helps turn your old phone into a baby monitor

Samsung's Galaxy Upcycling at Home initiative.
Samsung's Galaxy Upcycling at Home initiative. (Samsung)

The Galaxy Upcycling at Home initiative will equip older devices with improved AI capabilities to detect sounds like a baby crying, dog barking, cat meowing, or a knock, and then send out an alert to the user’s current smartphone.

Samsung on Wednesday announced that it was expanding its Galaxy Upcycling Program with its ‘Galaxy Upcycling at Home’ initiative that would allow users to turn their old Galaxy smartphones into smart home devices like baby monitors or automatic light switches.

We had previously reported in January that Samsung had announced its Galaxy Upcycling at Home program at CES 2021, which would help users repurpose their old phones into smart home devices like thermostat control, smart lights, or simply turn it into a childcare tool or pet monitor which can turn on the lights remotely when they’re home alone. Samsung had said the features would roll out to devices later this year.

Also read: Samsung wants to turn your old phone into a sustainable DIY smart home device with Galaxy Upcycling

The Galaxy Upcycling at Home initiative will equip older devices with improved AI capabilities to detect sounds like a baby crying, dog barking, cat meowing, or a knock, and then send out an alert to the user’s current smartphone, essentially turning it into a smart monitor with a one-way audio feed.

Samsung says that these devices can also be used to measure how much light is in a room, using the older device’s ambient light sensor which used to determine the level of screen brightness. SmartThings can then automatically turn your lights on and off once the room is dark enough.

For now, the feature is launching in only three countries — the US, UK and Korea, but could expand to other regions over the course of time. All Galaxy S. Note and Z series devices will be eligible to receive the update, as long as it is running Android 9 or later.

Read more: Galaxy Upcycling repurposes older Samsung phones into affordable medical diagnosis cameras

The company is addressing two obvious concerns with turning an older device into a smart monitor - stability and battery life. These devices will be able to connect and reconnect to SmartThings, and the update with the new capabilities will also minimise battery usage, Samsung says.

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