How to Make a Smart Home Sensor Out of an Old Samsung Phone

How to Make a Smart Home Sensor Out of an Old Samsung Phone

Over the years, Samsung has slowly grown in popularity to become one of the most sought-after Android phone companies. According to Statista, the South Korean-based corporation will provide 275 million smartphones worldwide in 2021 alone. As of the third quarter of 2022, Samsung accounted for 21.2% of all smartphones delivered worldwide.

These stats alone demonstrate how popular Samsung is throughout the globe, but although many people are purchasing newer releases of the brand, it also means that older models are being phased out. Some of these older phones are passed down, while others are thrown away. As part of its commitment to sustainability, Samsung launched the Galaxy Upcycling at Home Program to avoid the latter. Samsung smartphone users may use this application to convert their obsolete phones into something more useful: a smart home device.

The Galaxy Upcycling at Home Program, established by Samsung in 2021, aims to recycle obsolete Galaxy smartphones into the Internet of Things (IoT) devices for the home (via Samsung Newsroom). Rather than letting outdated phones collect dust in a drawer or contribute to the ever-growing mound of electronic garbage, owners may upcycle them into useful gadgets like an automated interior lighting system or a pet/baby monitor. They can get the most out of their phones while also helping the environment. According to SmartThings, the upcycling capability is only available on certain models that run Android 8.1 or later and were introduced after 2018. All S models from the Galaxy S9, all Note models from the Note9, and all Z models are included.

Two simple applications are required to transform phones into smart home devices: Galaxy Upcycle and SmartThings. These applications enable you to utilise the built-in light and sound sensors on your older phone for your particular purpose. The light sensor measures the amount of light in the environment, whilst the sound sensor detects and records five sounds: barking, meows, baby cries, knocks, and glass shattering. When your old phone detects such noises, it will send a notice to your current phone.

Here’s how you can upgrade your old Samsung phone to one of these sensors.

Step 1. Get your current Samsung smartphone ready

Before you do anything else, you need to update the software on your current and older phones. Here are the measures you take to do this.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Scroll to the bottom and choose “Software update.”
  3. Tap on the “Download and Install” option
  4. To install the available updates, click “Install.” If you don’t see this option, your phone is up to date.
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Then, on your existing phone, go to Google Play and download and install the SmartThings app. Then, continue configuring your existing phone.

  1. On your current phone, open the SmartThings app.
  2. To open the Menu, tap the hamburger icon on the home page.
  3. Select “SmartApps.”
  4. In the top-right corner, tap the + symbol.
  5. Choose “SmartThings Lab.”
  6. Select “Galaxy Upcycle” from the list.
  7. Tap “Next” on the Galaxy Upcycle screen to generate a QR code for the app’s installation.

Step 2. Configure your old Samsung phone as a light or sound sensor.


How to Make a Smart Home Sensor Out of an Old Samsung Phone


Now that you have your current phone ready, you can begin configuring your legacy phone to function as a light or sound sensor. Here’s how to go about it.

  1. Scan the QR code generated by your current phone with your legacy phone. This will take you to the Samsung App Store.
  2. On the Galaxy Upcycle app page, click the “Install” button.
  3. Launch the app after it has been downloaded.
  4. On the Galaxy Upcycle app homepage, tap “Start.”
  5. Make a note of the type of sensor you intend to use.
  6. On the pop-up box, click “Continue.”
  7. Using the drop-down choices, choose the location and room where your sensor will be placed.
  8. Select “Next.” The sensor will now be activated.

Back on your existing phone, open the SmartThings app and look for your new light or sound sensor under “Devices” in the menu. You can now utilise this to create Automations in which the sensor data (brightness level or sound) will trigger a certain action. For example, you may utilise the light sensor to automatically switch on/off the lights according on the brightness of the room.

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