Make the most of your old de­vices

Save money on tech­nol­ogy by repur­pos­ing it

Metro Canada (Ottawa) - - Special Report: Financial Future - Marc Saltz­man

There’s one ob­vi­ous down­side to our fas­ci­na­tion with gad­gets: ob­so­les­cence.

Just when we start to get used to our new pur­chase — be it a smart­phone, tablet, lap­top or tele­vi­sion — it seems there’s a bet­ter one around the corner.

In­stead of ditch­ing your older prod­ucts, why not find another use for them?

Here are three ways your tech can do dou­ble-duty and save you money:

1. Surveil­lance cam­era

Use your old phone or tablet as a Wi-fi-en­abled se­cu­rity cam­era.

Just in­stall one of the free apps that use your de­vice’s cam­era.

Leave it plugged in, turned on and pointed at some­thing you want to keep an eye on. Now, from your newer phone or tablet, you can see what your older de­vice sees, or set up mo­tion alerts so you’ll be no­ti­fied of any move­ment.

2. Uni­ver­sal re­mote

Why spend hun­dreds of dol­lars on a touch­screen uni­ver­sal re­mote when you’ve got a per­fectly good smart­phone or tablet that can do the trick?

Many phones and tablets have an IR (or “in­frared”) blaster to con­trol your home theatre out of the box. Even if yours doesn’t, many new Smart TVS, in­ter­net­con­nected Blu-ray play­ers and me­dia boxes sup­port re­mote apps for your de­vice.

3. Alarm clock

Smart­phones and tablets are also great as high-tech alarm clocks.

Sim­ply down­load one of the many alarm clock apps, prop up your de­vice on your bed­side night ta­ble and leave it there as your main alarm clock.

Not only can you set the alarm and ad­just the font size, colour and style, but you can also have cus­tom in­for­ma­tion shown on the screen, such as the news or weather.


Con­sider hold­ing onto your old phone and us­ing it as a high-tech alarm clock.

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