Smartphones are everywhere these days. We all buy one every few years (or every year or even more frequently in some cases) and many of these phones end up in our closets or boxes, doing nothing. It is not as if all of these smartphones have stopped functioning, some might have become slow because of the obsolete software, others might have a cracked screen or a faulty mic/ speaker. These phones still house some pretty capable hardware, but they sit idly in our closets, slowing turning into a worthless pile of e-junk.
Samsung wants to change this with its new ‘Upcycling’ initiative, which aims to turn our old phones into something new, for example – a Bitcoin mining rig. The company recently showcased a Bitcoin mining rig running on 40 old Samsung Galaxy S5 phones at a developer event. Given how power-intensive the Bitcoin mining has become these days, this rig might not be a practical device, but it is a great proof of concept, about how older smartphones can be used to do something new.
The Korean manufacture revealed that in its test mining rig, eight Galaxy S5 phones were able to offer better performance than an Intel Core i7 2600-powered desktop. You might not end up mining Bitcoin on this rig, but it seems quite capable for mining some alt-coins.
Alongside the mining rig, Samsung also showcased some other cool re-purposed old smartphones and tablets like an old Galaxy tablet being used as an Ubuntu-powered laptop, an old Galaxy S3 to monitor a fishtank. All these devices had been stripped of Android, which was the original OS on them, and made to run on new software.
The company plans to release the software and other information necessary for the consumers to ‘Upcycle’ their old Galaxy devices. It has setup a website, where you can find the information about the projects such as the S5 smartphone-powered mining rig. The website is bare-bones right now, but expect to see it live soon. It will be open to submissions from the community as well.