An unintended result of the latest and most dazzling offering from smartphone vendors is that the perfectly working smartphone that you used until yesterday suddenly becomes less desirable and often gets discarded in favor of the newest model.
While many of these retired smartphones still work and have usable sensors like cameras, accelerometers, touch screens and Bluetooth radios, most of them remain unused or worse yet, end up in landfills. According to industry analysts, over 280 million working smartphones were replaced without being recycled last year.
Phonvert, an open-source software platform, founded by group of Japanese youngsters can convert retired smartphones into usable Internet of Things (IoT) nodes. You install Phonvert onto your old smartphone and then you can make it usable and valuable again for a variety of tasks like Fridge Cam, Mailbox Cam, Video Baby Monitor to name a few.
It is important to note that the team thinks of itself more as a movement than a startup and are open to collecting new ideas for how smartphones can be reused with their software on Twitter via the hashtag #phonvert.