Smart phones have advanced so much. They can now be used to measure distance, heart rate, temperature, etc. They can even digitize paper documents and process payments from a credit card. Here are a few things that many people do not know their smartphones are capable of.
Popularity of Smartphones
Smartphone operating systems such as Android and iOS are immensely popular today. It’s difficult to find a person without a smartphone. More than fifty percent of the worldwide internet traffic comes from smartphones and tablets. These portable gadgets are changing several aspects of not only communication but also entertainment, information, and work. In this article, learn about a few things that many people do not know their smartphones are capable of.
1. Image-Based Search
So far, we search the web using text. Although image search has existed for some time, it’s not quite sophisticated. In your smartphone, you can use Google Goggles to do image searching. Simply open up the app and click a photo with your camera. Google will immediately fetch results from the web that pertain to the image. The app is available for Android and iOS 4 onwards.
Link to Android version.
2. Unlock Your Car
One of the smartphone apps you can use for remotely starting or stopping your car is Viper SmartStart. The app is available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. The app can be used to connect a car to the cloud, and then you can control the car with the smartphone app. You can lock your car, unlock it, remote-start, or open the trunk with the app. Also, using GPS, it is possible to locate your car remotely.
3. Measure Distance, Speed, Temperature, and Humidity
Almost all high-end smartphones have internal sensors that can be leveraged to measure things. You can use a smartphone to measure the distance traveled, speed, temperature, humidity, etc. For instance, Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 come with temperature and humidity sensors. Accelerometer is a MEMS (micro electromechanical system) sensor in your smartphone that identifies its orientation. This sensor can effectively be used as a level.
There are apps that you can download for measuring purposes. Smart Measure is an Android app that measures distance, height, etc., using trigonometric principles. EasyMeasure is a similar app available for the iPhone.
4. Wi-Fi Hotspot
You can use your smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for your computers and other devices. Several apps are available in the App Store and Google Play that can turn your smartphone into a mini wireless router. Some of them are WiFi Hotspot, Mobile Hotspot, Portable WiFi, etc. Some Android smartphones and jailbroken iPhones can be turned into a Wi-Fi hotspot without having to install an app.
5. As a TV Remote
Many smartphones have infrared blasters built in. This can be used to turn the device into a TV remote. The Google Play store has a number of apps that can take advantage of the infrared blaster on your phone. Smart TV Remote, IR Universal Remote, etc., are some of those apps. Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 come with a built-in infrared app known as WatchOn.
6. As a Webcam for Your Computer
You can use your smartphone as a webcam if you do not have one for your computer. The smartphone’s camera can wirelessly connect with your computer for communication software such as Skype or FaceTime. Mobiola WebCamera is an app you can use for the purpose.
7. Money Management
Banks, PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, etc., have their own mobile apps that can be used to store credit card information. The apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Symbian, BlackBerry, etc.
There are also apps that let you accept credit card payments from within your smartphone. Square is such an app that comes with a card reader that can be attached to your smartphone through its 3.5mm headset jack.
8. Speed Trap Map
There is an app known as Trapster that can be used for finding out speed traps on your way. The app is backed by a large community of nearly 20 million drivers who update speed traps, enforcement points, etc., on a map for other drivers. The speed traps are constantly updated on a map you can view on your smartphone.
9. Heart Rate Monitor
An iPhone app known as Instant Heart Rate can be used to monitor your heart rate from your fingertip pulse. The app uses iPhone’s camera flash to see the pulse. The app costs two dollars at the App Store. Recently, the app has been made available free on Google Play as well.
You can use your smartphone’s camera as a scanner for any document. There are a number of scanning apps available at the App Store as well as Google Play. Some of them include CardScan, TurboScan, etc. These apps can quickly scan and digitize receipts, business cards, paper documents, etc.
Smartphones are revolutionizing the way we do things. They are doing all these things from a tiny form factor that can fit perfectly in your pocket. As technology advances, smartphones will get even more powerful, with more sensors and chips.