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Top 5 GENIUS Ways to Repurpose Your Old Tech – Gear UP^

VO: Marc Saltzman

Script written by Marc Saltzman.

You’ve probably been looking for ways to reuse or upcycle your old tech hardware as they get older, out of date or even obsolete. Don’t throw out your old tech devices; repurpose your old tech devices! There are some surprising uses for old tech gadgets: try turning an old smartphone or tablet into a universal remote, or even a surveillance camera. WatchMojo teams up with tech-spert Marc Saltzman to talk about five DIY projects you can do with your old electronic devices.

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Script written by Marc Saltzman.

Top 5 Genius Ways to Repurpose Your Old Tech – Gear UP

There’s one obvious downside to our fascination with gadgets: obsolescence.

Just when we start to get used to our new purchase – be it a smartphone, tablet, laptop or television – it seems there’s a better one around the corner. To make matters worse, you might find the newer and shinier tech toy costs even less than the one you bought.

Hey everyone, Welcome to Gear Up, the WatchMojo series that looks at the latest in gadgets, gear and games. I’m Marc Saltzman, and in this video, I’ll share 5 awesome uses for your old smartphone or tablet, a few “life hacks” to consider before you ditch your old device.

#1: Use It As a Surveillance Camera

OK, number 1…a surveillance camera

If you have a spare smartphone or tablet, you can use it as a free Internet-enabled security camera.

Just install one of the free apps that use your device’s camera – such as Presence (iOS), Manything (iOS) or Salient Eye (Android) – and leave it plugged in, turned on and pointed towards something you want to keep an eye on. Now, from your primary phone or tablet, you can see what your older device sees, or set up motion alerts so you’ll be notified if any movement is detected.

Some of these apps will record footage for you, as well, to the phone or tablet itself or a cloud solution. Many of these apps also allow for two-way voice communication in case pet lovers want to interact with their dog or cat while at work, perhaps.

#2: Turn It into a Universal Remote

The 2nd way to reuse an old phone or tablet…turn it into a universal remote

Why spend hundreds of dollars on a touchscreen universal remote when you’ve got a perfectly good smartphone or tablet that can do the trick?

Many phones and tablets – includes ones from Samsung, Sony and LG – have an IR (infrared) blaster to control your home theatre out of the box. Even if yours doesn’t, many new Smart TVs, Internet-connected Blu-ray players and media boxes/sticks support remote apps for your device (as long as you have Wi-Fi, you’re good to go). A popular app is called SURE Universal Remote (for iOS and Android).

You can also use your old tablet or smartphone to control other devices in your home, such as your smart thermostat, lights, multi-room sound system, and more.

#3: Use It As a Back-Up Drive

The third way to repurpose your old tech…use it as a back-up drive

Instead of buying an external hard drive, consider wiping your old phone or tablet clean, connecting it to your PC or Mac via its USB port and dragging and dropping your important photos, videos, music or documents onto it.

Now you can keep this back-up in a safe place -- just in case you need it in the future. (It’s not recommended to keep a back-up in the same room as your computer just in case of fire or flood.)

Sure, you might only get 16-, 32- or 64-gigabytes of memory with a spare phone or tablet – compared to a few terabytes with an external hard drive – but it might just be enough for some. Plus, it’s still an ideal way to protect your important files without having to spend any additional cash.

#4: Turn It into an Alarm Clock

Number 4…turn your old smartphone or tablet into an alarm clock

Smartphones and tablets are also great as high-tech alarm clocks.

Simply download one of the many alarm clock apps, prop up your device on your bedside night-table and leave it there as your main alarm clock.

Not only can you set the alarm and adjust the font size, colour and style, but you can also have custom information shown on the screen, such as local weather. Along with various alarm sounds to wake you up, these apps are also ideal for playing streaming music, including thousands of radio stations from around the world. Or why not wake up to your favourite song?

Many apps can also play smoothing “white noise” sounds to lull you to sleep, as well as podcasts, audiobooks and radio plays.

Tip: Just be sure to disable app notifications and messaging (like emails and texts), so your sleep won’t be disrupted.

#5: Use It As a Digital Photo Frame

And the 5th way to reuse an old tablet or smartphone…use it as a digital photo frame.

While dedicated digital photo frames have all but gone the way of the dodo bird, you can turn an old tablet into one for your desk at work, kitchen counter or even mounted to a wall in your hallway.

Most tablet operating systems, like iOS and Android, have integrated photo gallery apps that can cycle through all of your photos (and videos) every few seconds, minutes or hours. You can store your memories on the phone or tablet’s internal memory or if you’re online, link to one of the many free photo services you can update on the fly.

Android users might opt for the free Dayframe app, while iPad owners should consider Digital Photo Frame, both of which pull images from social feeds, too, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others.

Hey, thanks for watching Gear Up; I'm Marc Saltzman. Let us know in the comments section if you have other good ideas for your old and outdated tech. For more tech-tastic lists, be sure to subscribe to

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