Customizing uses for tablets and smartphones in home or cars?

I feel that the handheld use of smartphones is fast on its way to becoming fully obsolete, but there don't seem to be many adopters for the updated uses on the other hand.

For concepts that I thought that were impossible feats and ideas of my imagination, I actually saw that they were being carried out in rather innovative was. Even though the

A few examples of what I liked:

  • A rooted android tablet with downloaded maps that work offline as a dedicated car GPS
  • as an open-source software with minimal required hardware that uses the smartphone to convert cars into self-driving (currently somewhat in beta mode and only available for 2 manufacturers) -- $1K
  • Old tablets installed as dedicated smart home control panels
  • Smartphones as touchscreen smart mirror interfaces
  • Either a tablet or smartphone as a remote panel for controlling entertainment media, or eReader -- you can often hook it up to a device that projects the screen if you don't cast it to a larger monitor
I can link some images and videos in this thread if anyone is interested to see more examples. I would like to get some more input and generate some ideation about other possibilities, maybe what some of you have tried and either succeeded at or failed at.

What do you think it's going to take before we aren't looking down at our useful yet relationship killers of little black mirrors in our hands, as we have been for about the last decade? Widespread integration of the IoT? Technical development literacy (i.e. people learning more about APIs, coding, networking, etc.)?

I would recommend that you do a search on techie blogs, maybe Pinterest and Pinterest-like sites too, for "creative uses for old tablets/smartphones." Even where I see that someone shares a similar idea that I have, I often see that they provide a fresh spin on it with alternatives and workarounds and recommendations for models.


Active member
I would like to see one of those Home Automation Systems, specially the communication side. I know that the tablets or phones being used are for user interface and the signal being used maybe WIFI or INFRA. Basically a program is developed to allow users to see and identify what they are controlling and the tablet act a medium. The next thing is the integration of home utilities like lighting and appliances on a wireless switching module.

I'm interested on the components of the wireless switching module. I'm trying to build a DIY control system using old tablets and phones but i'm still having a hard time figuring out the components specially using reclaimed components and materials. It's nice to know that there are people that is interested in these things.

Have a great day...


Active member
I love to see where technology is going. For now, I would be happy with offline maps. Better yet, GPS maps that doesn't require internet. I know it's possible since there is a fitness app where you run and it tracks uses GPS to know where you are, where you've been going and based on that knowledge, knows how fast you're running. If only there was a basic app for this, I am fairly certain there is one but none of the ones I've found seem to work without Internet access.
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