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Repurposing Technology at Home | The Allstate Blog

3 Ideas for Repurposing Old Technology

If you're ready to purge unwanted electronics and accessories from your home, you probably already know that recycling is an option. But, you may find that those old devices can easily be repurposed, too. There are plenty of creative options for repurposing old technology. Some of these are more crafty — such as… Allstate https://i1.wp.com/www.allstate.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/person-using-a-smart-home-hub_GettyImages.jpg?fit=1200%2C1049&strip=all&ssl=1
Woman using smart home hub.

If you’re ready to purge unwanted electronics and accessories from your home, you probably already know that recycling is an option. But, you may find that those old devices can easily be repurposed, too.

There are plenty of creative options for repurposing old technology. Some of these are more crafty — such as turning floppy disks into clocks or making jewelry out of keyboard letters.

If crafting isn’t your thing, consider these other ways you may be able to find new uses for old gadgets.

1. Use Spare Devices for Home Surveillance

If you want to try monitoring parts of your home without a security system, extra electronics may come in handy. Take a look at how video security cameras, baby monitors, smartphones and tablets may help you keep tabs on your home.

Video security cameras and baby monitors

Do you have an extra video security camera lying around? You may be able to use it as a baby monitor, especially if it has a microphone, speaker and night vision.

It can also work the other way around. A baby monitor may help you monitor your home after you’re done using it in the nursery. You might use it as a pet cam, home surveillance camera or keep it aimed at your garage door so you can check to make sure it’s closed when you’re in another room.

As long as the cameras work on Wi-Fi, you can monitor them while you’re away from home. You can set the cameras to record whenever there is motion and store the footage in an SD card or pay for cloud storage.

No matter where you use your cameras and monitors, if they are tied to online accounts, make sure they are secure with strong, unique passwords.

Smartphones and tablets

If you have an extra smartphone or tablet with a built-in video camera, you may be able to download an app that allows you to use the device to monitor your home.

Leave the device plugged in and the app running while you’re away. You may also need to change the settings on the phone or tablet to prevent it from “falling asleep.” Once it’s set up correctly, if the device detects motion, it will prompt the camera to start recording. When you return home, you can review the footage.

You may want to purchase a phone or tablet stand to help keep your device in the proper position.

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2. Build a Smart Home Hub with a Tablet

An old tablet can also become a smart home controller. By using an outlet wall mount, you can install a tablet on the wall so that it’s always plugged in. Then, you use it as a central hub to control your lights, thermostat, security camera and other smart home gadgets.

Once your smart home gadgets are installed, you can control them within their individual apps on the tablet. Or, you can use a third-party hub to manage them all in one app. Either way, the tablet can be a control station for easily managing your devices.

An important side note: make sure your older tablet is up to date with all of the necessary security features. When dusting off your tablet, you’ll want to make sure your device’s operating system and various apps are all running the latest software to keep it working smoothly and securely.

3. Find Additional Uses for Tablets 

Even if you don’t want to use it for home surveillance or a smart home hub, a spare tablet doesn’t need to collect dust. You can turn it into a piece of home decor by using an app to play a slideshow of family photos, for instance, or display helpful information like the local weather.

Upgrading your technology doesn’t mean the older versions need to go to waste. By repurposing unwanted devices, you may find they still have plenty of use left in them. And, in some cases, older gadgets may offer new conveniences to help modernize your home.