Electronic waste from old smartphones and devices is one of the worst pollutants right now, especially since there are no upcycling or recycling programs from most of the OEMs. Samsung previously introduced a Galaxy Upcycling program back in 2017 but only those that could tinker with smartphones could use it. But they announced during their CES 2021 event that they’re launching the Galaxy Upcycling at Home program which will let consumers repurpose their old devices into something still useful through a software update.
Samsung shared two examples of how you will be able to upcycle your smartphones. You can turn an old phone into a baby monitor by placing it in the nursery and if it hears a crying baby, it will send you a notification to your current device. It can also be turned into a pet care tool if you’re a fur parent by automatically switching on the light in your house in the evening so it won’t have to stay in the dark until you get home.
Of course, you will be able to do these things if you have the right software. Samsung said they are planning on releasing a software update to older Galaxy devices to help you repurpose them. However, they did not specify which devices will be included in the update and become part of the Galaxy Upcycling at Home program. They also didn’t specify which Android version will get this support and what’s the ETA for the update to roll out.
Last year, some of the old Galaxy phones were actually repurposed by Samsung and turned into eye examination tools. Another way that they have contributed to sustainability efforts is by using eco packaging for Samsung TVs so you can turn the cardboard box to build some kind of furniture for your home. Hopefully, they’ll be adding more to this kind of eco-packaging to lessen unrecyclable trash and also come up with more ways to repurpose old devices.
Hopefully, Samsung will be releasing more details about the Galaxy Upcycling at Home program before people start throwing out their still usable but older Galaxy devices. We’ll be sure to update you once the promised software update is available.