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What to do with old phones, cameras, laptops and tablets

Electronic waste is available a huge problem that is getting worse: we now produce 21% more e-waste worldwide than we did five years ago. As for gadgets like phones, your brand new model will most likely be replaced in a year, and sometimes not even that.

That’s why it’s worth thinking twice about what you’re doing with your old gadgets as soon as something new comes along. You may be wondering how many ways you can repurpose an old hardware device, even if it is a few years old and it has become too slow to perform its original function properly.

These are some of our favorite ideas, but there are others ̵

1; with a little imagination, you may be able to come up with something new.

Turn your old phone or tablet into a security camera

When the smartphone has outlived its usefulness, do not throw it away. There are many working technologies that can perform other roles. One of these roles is a security camera, which provides a constantly enabled video stream that you can connect with another phone from anywhere in the world.

To set it up, you’ll probably need a tripod or mount if you don’t want to be creative with books and jewelry. You’ll also need some software: Manything and Alfred offer Android and iOS apps, and there are others. It’s just a matter of installing the appropriate program and following the instructions.

Of course, this also works for tablets, although their settings and positions can be a bit trickier due to the oversized size. Remember that many phones and tablets are now waterproof, so it can work even outdoors, although your mobile device must always be connected to a power source at all times.

Turn your old phone or tablet into a remote control

Over the last few years, we have seen a flurry of new wireless streaming protocols that are expanding. Think about how many ways you can now stream media wirelessly, including Apple AirPlay, Google Chromecast, apps that Sonos offers with its speakers, and more.

This means for your old phone or tablet that you can use it as a dedicated media console or hub. Keep your old iPad next to Apple TV to cover shows and movies, or keep your old Android tablet next to your Chromecast for Spotify streaming or YouTube playlists.

This frees your phone from work, which means less load during battery life, and also means that everyone in the family can pick up the device and start broadcasting without worrying about inputs and screen locks.

Control Spotify devices with a dedicated device.

David Nild via Spotify

Use your old laptop as a media center

According to the note, old laptops can be repurposed as media centers, keeping your videos and music ready to be broadcast around the house. This is an easy task, so it is suitable for older hardware, which means you can also leave a lot of hard drive space for free on your new laptop.

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