5 surprising things that can be controlled with your Smartphone
Since the last 10 years, Smartphone have become a major part in our daily life not only for communication purpose but also many other features such as camera, entertainment, productivity and many more. After a small period of time, Smartphones absorbed the Remote Control feature as well. And this remote control doesn’t mean for only the ones used for your home entertainment center. It also includes some as below:
1. Drones and toys :
You might have come across drones that use smartphones as their controller. For instance, Parrot drones not only lets you to control the drone with the smartphone but they also capture live videos to it so that you can get a first-person view and also play automated reality games. DJI Phantom and Inspire are some of the high-end drones which tend to use tablets instead of smartphones only for non-flight control and video streaming.
Many remote-controlled boats, planes, and cars are put to head in the same direction. Any paper airplanes can be converted into smartphone-controlled plane with the help of the PowerUp toy else you can get the TobyRich Smart-Plane which helps in connecting to an Apple gadget. The plane can be controlled by just tilting your iPhone.
The Moto TC Rally RC car can connect to an iOS gadget in the non-air stage. Many of the compilers have online instructions which use cheap Arduino boards to just provide RC vehicle Smartphone control.
2. Home theater :
You might have known better about home theaters, but some people still don’t know. Even you might have seen some of them and not all along with the latest versions and the options provided by them. Some may be having the same feature and options but not all of them are equal.
A smartphone or a tablet could be converted into a universal remote simply with a low cost infrared add-on and also a suited app which may be the best way. The Samsung Galaxy S6 can play a role of a universal remote since it has a built-in IR transmitter. But in the previous few years, many of the IR adds-on have vanished because the companies were diverted to Wi-Fi base stations.
Logitech has a good example with its $99 Harmony Ultimate Hub. It can just sit in your home theater cabinet and the IR blasters ca be used to control your components. Your smartphone or tablet can connect to the Hub through Wi-Fi and the free Harmony app. This provides you control over your home theater setup from anywhere in the house.
The buttons which are labelled clearly and the helpful graphics in the app makes it a snap for controlling your gear. Huge tasks may be made as one-button operations by setting up macros. Not only the home entertainment boxes but also home automation gears also are supported. You are set even if there is compatible climate control, appliances or lighting.
Of course, Logitech is not the only company which is doing this, also Roomie is another company which sells items similar to this like the iTach Flex Wi-Fi. Universal Remote Controls also manufacture home automation hardware, along with the MRX-1 base station. The MRX-1 is a little less costlier than that offered by Logitech and Roomie’s, but if needed, you can also compare it with a full Universal Remote Controlled home automation setup.
3. Home automation :
Everything in your home such as washing machine, thermostat, fridge and all the other electronic and electrical machines and equipment can be connected to the Internet to control and monitor these appliances by simply using your smartphone from where ever you are irrespective of the distance from your home.
On the way to your home while returning from work, if you want, you can trigger your smart thermostat or smart crackpot. Also, you can turn on/off the lights, fans and many other, check if your laundry load is done, these can be made easy.
There is one interrupt. Now every smartphone or any other smart gadget has its own app. Finding the app and loading it for the gadget you want to control is the digital equivalent of juggling remotes. That’s the reason why Google, Apple and others are working to merge them.
HomeKit and Brillo are the projects of Apple and Google respectively. Apple’s project, HomeKit has a huge support from manufacturers, but it works only with the HomeKit certified gadgets. On the other hand, Brillo works with just about any of the smart gadgets.
Since it is a new technology, it remains to be seen how it works in practice, and it will be a while before you have a good number of smart gadgets in your home. But still, a smart house is not as far away as it used to be.
4. Cars :
Starting your remote controlled car would be great many a times. When it is the case of a cold winter morning, you could be able to start it up from the comfort of the house and switch on the heater. It also works good, on a hot summer day, for cooling off your car.
The latest high-end cars have, as an option, the starting it remotely , but with the help of an arbitrary like Drone Mobile or Viper Smart-Start, you can add this to your existing car. These have apps that lets you to start your car, and also allows you to monitor its location, whether it’s locked, whether it’s running and to control other things, like the power windows.
This doesn’t mean that these type of systems will never set you back even a bit. Drone Mobile’s Remote Start + GPS Tracking package uses cellular for communication and it costs $499.99 and for a monthly plan, you also have to sign up for a monthly service plan. This plans runs $50 per year for the basic option and covers alarm alerts and vehicle control or $120 per year for premium that includes GPS tracking and the vehicle status. This reduces the cost than buying a new car with remote starting.
5. Security cameras :
Security cameras can be installed around your home or business will be a good idea, but if the camera could be able to be controlled as we are observing the output from any distance describes it to be even better.
There are now available a number of apps that helps to let you tap into your security cameras, from tiny Cam Monitor to IP Cam Viewer Pro. Setting up the streaming video takes a little work, but I have step-by-step instructions for you.
If you have the Komando Indoor Pan Tilt Wireless Security Camera, your smartphone or computer can be used to control pan and tilt to acquire a better look at the area. There is a possibility that you can even listen to a room or talk to someone who is using the two-way audio system. This allows to spot burglars, or to keep tabs on children or an aging parent.
Of course, it finds simple to turn your smartphone into a security camera, if you want to observe a door, drawer or closet.
The nation’s largest weekend radio talk show, the Kim Komando Show, Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphone and tablet to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and much more, visit her website at Komando.com.
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