The new initiative for the upsikeling of products will allow you to put a completely new operating system on old phones and give them a new life.
Smartphones today are widespread, but the habits of their use are as varied as the people who use them. I like to buy flagship devices, such as the iPhone X or Pixel 2, and use them for 4-5 years. There is another approach, when people subscribe to the upgrade programs offered by the mobile operator, allowing them to change their phone every year. But many still buy the phone for a year or two, and then change it to a new one. At the same time, old devices gather dust in cabinets, bedside tables or boxes.
Many keep such old emergency telephones, but the overwhelming majority of these devices are no longer destined to serve their purpose again and ultimately they lose all value. The phone phenomenon in the nightstand led to a huge accumulation of electronic scrap across the country. The two-year-old smartphone still has its value and is a powerful device. In light of this, the news about Samsung’s initiative to receive old smartphones for their secondary disposal, which makes it possible to turn them into something completely new, is very encouraging.
See, for example, this bitcoin mining farm made from 40 old Galaxy S5, running on a new operating system, which Samsung developed specifically for this upsikeling initiative.Photography: Kyle Wins
Samsung representatives refused to answer specific questions about the bitcoin mining farm, but judging by the data on the information plate next to it, 8 Galaxy S5 can mine more efficiently than a standard desktop computer (although, of course, hardly anyone today is mining on home PCs) .
The premiere of this farm and a whole series of other cool uses for old phones was held at a recent developer conference in San Francisco. The concept of upsikeling implies the use of old devices for a new purpose, instead of parsing them into individual components for resale.
The guys at Samsung's C-Lab - a team of engineers engaged in creative projects - boasted old Galaxy smartphones and tablets, already without Android software on board, each of which was involved in some new quality or turned into a new thing.
The team tied 40 old Galaxy S5s together, made a mining bitcoin farm out of them, turned the old Galaxy tablet into a Ubuntu laptop on board, used the Galaxy S3 to gather information about the environment in the aquarium and programmed the old phone to recognize entrance to the house, issued it in the form of an owl.Photography: Kyle Wins
All this looks very cool, and Samsung plans to publish for free on the Internet both the software that was used to unlock the phone and various project plans.
“This innovative platform offers an environmentally responsible way to breathe life into the old Galaxy mobile devices, which allows you to get new features and extend the relevance of devices that would otherwise be forgotten in desk drawers or thrown away,” said Samsung spokesman Robin Schulz in an email. .
Upsykling - a great way to keep old devices in the ranks, but without the support of the manufacturer in this matter is not enough.
“The main obstacle to the long extension of the life cycle of old electronics is software,” said iFixit director Kyle Wins. - In the case of phones this is especially true. Old software is unsafe and does not support new applications. And therefore, in such cases, the question always arises: how can we make it so that an absolutely working iron can function and remain relevant for 10 years if there is no place for a good firmware for it? ”
Vince and iFixit can answer such questions
. His website is an open source resource for people who want to fix their own electronics. Vince and his team are helping Samsung repair the old S3s for use in an upsicleing project.
“You wouldn’t have done it yourself,” Vince said. - Samsung essentially created an interlayer between the user and the iron, allowing you to install whatever you want on it. This intervention is at a lower level, while Android is completely removed. "
Samsung has already created a template on the githab
with a video for the project of smart utilization of Samsung, explaining the essence of the approach and telling about the examples described earlier. "They plan to make a portfolio of projects in the spirit of" crazy hands "," - explained Vince. On the site, users can download software that removes Android and opens the device for other types of software. By doing this, users will also be able to browse through a variety of handwritten programs and projects written by users.
The platform will be open, and therefore users will be able to create and upload their own projects and software immediately after its launch. In the example from the promotional video, the user downloaded the program for monitoring the status of the aquarium on the old Galaxy S3 and ordered water sensors directly from the site. After everything is installed, he gets a device that can collect information about the PH balance and temperature of the aquarium water. The decision even allows the owner to take photos of pets or turn the lights on and off.Photography: Kyle Wins
Such serious support for the reuse of devices is an unprecedented phenomenon for the industry. Companies such as Apple, the most complicated
possibility of self-repair of broken devices. In most cases, manufacturers prefer their customers to buy new devices
instead of repairing old ones. This philosophy is beneficial for the company, but harmful to the environment and contrary to the interests of consumers.
“It’s better for the planet if your old devices keep their value as long as possible,” says Vince. - There is a direct correlation between the size of the secondary market and the durability and stability of the environment. Samsung wants to preserve the value of its devices for the long term. If they are sure that they will somehow be able to justify a new price tag of one thousand dollars for the new Note model, it will be easier for them to convince people to spend this thousand, because afterwards they will be able to resell the device for $ 500. ”
When asked about when the project will turn from the current promotional page into the open source wonderland that Samsung promises us, the company representatives answered: “Follow our news.” This is a very promising idea and philosophy that other technology companies should adopt.