Smartphones have been taken to a whole new level and have become a crucial part of our daily life. They are intended to function as a pocket computer to make life easier, the reason why they come built with exciting features relevant to our daily activities.
Basically, a smartphone can help you maintain an online presence on the social media, function as an activity reminder, be used to perform transactions, to play games, take pictures, and to watch movies. But little did we know that smartphones are even capable of doing some unbelievable tasks too. Surprisingly, a smartphone can diagnose your car, and can act as a portable Microscope!
Smartphones are now equipped with powerful sensors that let them interact with our body and our environment seamlessly, and with the required sensors and the necessary apps, a smartphone will be able to perform a lot of unthinkable tasks. Below is a compilation of eight unthinkable things smartphones are capable of.
1. YOUR SMARTPHONE AS A WIRELESS KEYBOARD AND TRACKPAD FOR YOUR PC
In a short period, the overall usage domains of smartphones have been increased. One of the awesome unthinkable things that your smartphone can do is to function as a wireless keyboard and trackpad for your PC.
With the right applications installed, your smartphone will seamlessly interact with your PC to control the cursor and work as an input device without any wired connection. Some can even mirror the display on your PC and give you full control over it remotely.
Examples of such smartphone apps include Unified Remote which can additionally control media on YouTube, Remote Mouse which additionally can power up or down your PC and control your music player, Chrome Remote Desktop and File Manager Remote which lets you manage the files on your PC amongst others. These apps connect to the target device through Wi-Fi and work fine on MAC, Windows, and Linux PCs.
2. YOUR SMARTPHONE AS A COMPASS AND GPS
Smartphones are now equipped to function as a GPS for navigation purposes and with the ability to identify your current location in the world, or as a compass to know your true North. The GPS feature is now been adopted in so many apps to improve the user experience. On a social app, for example, you can let others on the platform know where you are chatting from, and in gaming, you can choose to play against people that share the same geo-location with you.
However, you should turn on this feature only when you need it and ensure you do not leave it on when it is not in use as it can consume a lot of your battery’s power. For security reasons, you should also ensure you don’t grant untrusted applications access to the GPS service of your phone. Hackers may steal the information from such app to stalk you, and service providers may use it against you in lawsuits as well.
GPS is a pre-installed feature for smartphones. However, with an application like Google Map, you can view any part of the world or see your exact geolocation on the map if you turn on the GPS feature of your smartphone.
3. YOUR SMARTPHONE AS A MOBILE HOTSPOT
It is now a thing of the past when people must look around for a public Wi-Fi hotspot to browse the internet on their tablets or laptops. Smartphones can now be used as a portable WI-FI hotspot device to establish an internet connection for your other gadgets on the go.
You don’t need any cable to establish a Wi-Fi internet connection, and you can add up to five devices to the WI-FI network of a smartphone. Sharing your smartphone’s internet connection does not require a third party app, as this feature is mostly preinstalled in phones that have the capability.
It is important to note that each of the mobile devices that connect to the internet through the smartphone will make use of the data subscription on that smartphone. For security reasons, you, however, can prevent people you don’t know from using your internet data subscription by protecting the connection with a password.
4. YOUR SMARTPHONE AS A FITNESS TRACKER
A lot of people are so much into fitness activities because it is a good way to improve one’s overall health and to keep the body in shape. Achieving the fitness goals, however, require that you monitor your performances with fitness technologies like smart watches and fitness wristbands.
Unfortunately as wonderful as these fitness technologies are, not everybody can afford them.
The good news, however, is your smartphone can do the same for you! From heart-rate measurement and progress monitoring to body fat measurement, your smartphone can function as an ultimate fitness tracker.
With the development of the BioPhone technology for smartphones, physiological activities in the body can now be measured even without contact. However, some smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 comes built-in with a heart rate monitor.
With Strava, you can monitor how far you have gone when riding, running or walking through the accelerometer, GPS, and some other sensors in your smartphone. The app also lets you share your fitness activities on Facebook.
5. YOUR SMARTPHONE AS A DISTANCE, HEIGHT AND WIDTH MEASURING INSTRUMENT
Measuring the height and width of objects or measuring the distance of one object from another requires measuring tools like a tape rule. But what happens when you didn’t come along with your measuring tool when you most need it?
The challenge is not without a solution. If you have your smartphone with you and have the right app installed, your mobile device can suffice.
However, a measuring app does not make a perfect replacement to real measuring tools, but it can come in handy when a real tool is not within reach.
Smart Measure is an android app that makes use of trigonometry to measure the distance of an object from your standing position. Irrespective of the length and width of the target, the app will give its measurement to a good level of precision. You can also calibrate the app from the setting tab to improve its accuracy.
6. YOUR SMARTPHONE AS A UNIVERSAL REMOTE CONTROLLER
Today’s homes are always filled with several entertainment gadgets like Music Players, DVDs, HDTVs and game consoles to keep up with the current technology trend. For our convenience, each gadget is packed with its own remote controller to tune and adjust, and the more the gadgets in your home, the more the remotes you will have to deal with. However, leaving your Sofa to pick one remote after the other each time you need to control certain functions could be a big deal at times.
But big thanks to developers who have done another unthinkable! Your smartphone can now replace your pile of modular remotes to act as an all-in-one controller with the right app installed. Some of these remote apps even let you create customized layouts, commands, and menus.
Some of these universal remote apps include Dijit, iRule, Griffin Beacon amongst others. Although some apps like Zmart Remote and Rē requires that you attach a dongle to your mobile device to function effectively, most of them make use of the Wi-Fi network to communicate with the target device. All of these apps will work smoothly on your iPhones and Android smartphones.
7. YOUR SMARTPHONE AS A PASSPORT SCANNER
There are few countries currently making use of electronic passports and other identity documents that are ICAO compliant.
This type of passport comes embedded with a RFID chip that has the fingerprint scans, photo, and information about the holder in it. With the NFC radio and an NFC reader app on your smartphone, you can scan, verify and retrieve information easily from a passport. All you need to do is to scan the Machine Readable Zone of the passport.
One of the apps used for scanning ePassports is NFC Passport reader. The smartphone app, however, works with few selected electronic passports and cannot scan passports from all countries.
8. YOUR SMARTPHONE AS A BATTERY TESTER FOR REMOTE CONTROLLERS
Another unthinkable thing your smartphone is capable of is the ability to detect if the battery of your remote controller is down or still working fine.
Since the camera on a smartphone is sensitive to different kinds of light, it is also able to detect the infrared radiation that your remote controller releases each time you press a button.
To do this, start up the camera of your phone and switch to the front camera. Direct the sensor of the remote controller to the camera lens and press any button on it. You should see lights flickering on your screen if you still have enough power on your battery. If your battery is drained, you’ll see nothing.