When your smartphone contract expires, and you have the option to upgrade to a new model, you’ll probably do just that. The old one goes into a drawer, just in case your new phone is lost or broken. And there it stays, doing nothing. There are ways to put that old smartphone or tablet to good use in the office environment. Here are 4 ideas to repurpose old Android devices.

1. A Portable Trackpad – It seems like there’s an app for everything today. With an app you can turn your old device into a portable trackpad (or ‘touchpad’), that you can use as an extra controller, a portable mouse or an alternative way to control media playback. You can do this by downloading the Touchpad app from the Google Play store.

2. A Universal Remote – An old smartphone might be a great way to take control of your other office devices. You can use a universal remote app from the Google Play store to control all sorts of devices around your office. Because you are using just one device for every single television (for example) in your office, you don’t need to keep track of multiple remotes. If you have an older smartphone that comes with an onboard IR Blaster, you can utilize it as a TV remote, since many newer smartphones don’t come with one.

3. Makeshift Security Cameras – There are apps on the Google Play store that can turn your device into a miniature security camera. You might be surprised by how many different features you can find for this purpose. You can boost your business’ physical security presence, all by logging into a web browser. You can even enable motion detection activation and record the footage. Of course, if you want to take your security seriously, you will want to discuss integrating a network-based camera security system.

4. A Barcode and QR Scanner – Barcodes are very useful in the office, and make taking inventory a lot simpler. An app from the Play Store will give you additional barcode readers and QR scanners in moments. An app also makes it easy to share them electronically, if needed.

If you’re going to repurpose old Android devices it’s a good idea always to run the decision to add devices to your office’s tech array past your IT department or decision makers. It’s sensible, both to ensure that they are compatible with your technology and pose no security problems. Old Android devices that can’t be repurposed by your organisation can help someone else. For example, devices donated to the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, or BOINC, have helped the organization to advance various research projects. Resources donated to BOINC have been used toward researching climate change, molecular dynamics, genetic sequencing, earthquake magnitude and more. Check out their Play Store app.

What are some of your favorite ways to use your old Android devices? Let us know in the comments.

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