Cell Phone Accessories
Rico reuses your older smartphone into a smart home station

Keeping current with the latest smartphones is a battle with many casualties, namely all the old phones that just wind up in a closet or a drawer collecting dust. What if there was still a way to put their processors to use?

Rico is a cute little smart home sensor package that can function basically on its own to do motion detection, smoke monitoring, and controlling devices connected to smart outlets. What makes Rico unique however is that it also serves as a housing for smartphones, that combines the strengths of smartphone hardware with home automation sensors. As a result, this opens up the possibility of having an HD security camera with microphone and speaker connected via 3G and Wifi.

In doing so, Rico pushes two important realities of the modern age: finding a use for devices that are too often simply discarded or forgotten and helping consumers more easily enter the era of the smart home. Rico developers MindHelix, Inc. are trying to raise $100,000 to finish design, testing, and production phases on the project. Interested supporters can grab a Rico for $99, with an estimated delivery in November 2015.

While the individual feature set of the Rico may not be anything groundbreaking, the method that it goes about accomplishing home automation is very clever. It would be nice to see the addition of a smartphone provide more than just audio/video functions and network access, but ideally this will help some consumers save money on home automation.