In a world where approximately 50 million tons of electronics were discarded last year, Samsung’s Galaxy Upcycling team in Seoul imagines innovative ways to “upcycle,” or repurpose older flagship devices.
The Galaxy Upcycling team cracked the code using Internet of Things (IoT) methodologies – design philosophies that concentrate on ways to connect everyday objects for increased efficiency and data sharing.
One fun example is how the Galaxy Upcycling team turned a Galaxy device into a “Smart Fish Tank” monitor. The monitor can feed fish and turn on an aquarium light by text message.
Another way was using an old phone’s plastic packaging from the box it came in to build a “Smart Pet Bowl” that enables pet parents to feed their cats on the go.
The Smart Pet Bowl was a team favorite given that it takes a photo of the pet eating, providing proof that one’s favorite friend was fed.
These solutions are simple for a reason. Inspiring people to reuse their devices at home or on the go provides an easy-to-achieve call to action that anyone can follow: old electronics are still useful for your everyday life.
This week, Samsung’s Innovative Galaxy Upcycling Program was awarded the 2018 Environmental Leader Awards Project of the Year Award. Previous winners include Disney, Dell, and Johnson & Johnson. Samsung’s Dr. Dochul Choi who led the project was also honored as a top 75 Environmental Leader.
“The neat aspect of this is that it is a ‘do-it-yourself’ project. This could be a fun family project, or an innovation opportunity for those who like to tinker,” said an anonymous Environmental Leader Awards judge.
Over the past year, Samsung’s Upcycling Project team has taken the show on the road, helping others to learn the multiple ways that their old phones and devices can be repurposed for a more sustainable future. They also have plans to create an open source platform wherein anyone can share ideas about how devices can be upcycled.
That outreach included the team’s work with local children. They experienced first-hand that environmental leadership and upcycling can be both educational and fun.