In the world of annual refresh cycles, there’s always been a big question mark around what to do with all of the old tech we too readily abandon. There are a number of options for disposing and recycling these objects that often contain rare earth and sometimes harmful material. The concept of upcycling has also become an increasingly popular option — offering a new lease on life for old technology. After all, your three-year-old smartphone may not be the latest and greatest, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily worthless.
During this morning’s CES kickoff press conference, Samsung outlined its new Galaxy Upcycling at Home program. For now, we got some pretty broad strokes about the program — and we’ll likely get more information at this Friday’s Galaxy Unpacked event. Here’s what the company had to say: “The new program reimagines the lifecycle of an older Galaxy phone and offers consumers options on how they might be able to repurpose their device to create a variety of convenient IoT tools.”
Examples from the presser include a baby monitor, pet-care sensor for turning on lights remotely and a more abstract “digitally safe home” using Samsung Knox. It will be interesting to see what else the company’s got in store on that front — and certainly there’s something to be said for keeping old tech relevant even after its planned obsolescence.
The other piece of the puzzle is one of the more fun initiatives the company has introduced in recent years, with boxes that can be converted into household objects. The company announced this morning that all of its QLED, UHD TV and audio projects will feature the packaging.
As part of an ongoing commitment to eco-consciousness, Samsung is creating products and solutions with sustainability at the core. For example, Samsung’s new Solar Cell Remote Control—made in part with recycled plastic—can be charged via solar or indoor lighting, reducing battery waste.