Feature Article

May 18, 2021

3 Things You Can Control With Your Smartphone

Can you remember a time when the only thing that you did with your mobile phone was make and receive calls? Neither can we. Smartphones have been the standard for so long that it’s difficult to remember a time when a phone wasn’t a miniature computer. Smartphones have become so useful, in fact, that many people barely use computers at all anymore except for work.

Meanwhile, the two primary makers of smartphone operating systems – Apple and Google – have a strong incentive to continue adding as many features as possible because the smartphone market has essentially become a zero-sum game in most developed nations. The total market for smartphone owners isn’t likely to experience further explosive growth, so smartphone makers earn much of their money by stealing other companies’ users or by encouraging existing users to upgrade.

One of the best ways to encourage existing smartphone users to upgrade to new devices is by introducing new features that weren’t present in previous smartphone models, and one of the most popular features to add to smartphones these days is the ability to control other devices inside and outside the home.

So, when is a smartphone more than just a smartphone? A smartphone becomes something much more when it becomes the thing that you rely on in order to control all of the other electronic gadgets that you own. The universal remote controls of the past have nothing on today’s smartphones; here are just a few of the things that you can now control with your phone.

Video Games

The market for video games was already huge going into 2020, but it got even bigger over the past year than anyone could have possibly predicted. How big did the gaming industry become? In the United States, it’s now bigger than the sports and film industries combined. You play video games, and it’s likely that all of your friends do as well. When friends come over, they’re not looking to watch a game; they’re looking to play one. What’s the problem with that? The problem is that the average game console comes with two controllers at the most, and you’re not going to buy a bunch of extra controllers at $70 each just for a weekend get-together.

Finding opportunities for more than two people to play a video game at the same time isn’t always easy, but video game developers have found the perfect solution for that problem: Create games that can connect to smartphones. Some of the most popular party video games can support up to 10 simultaneous players using smartphones as controllers, and the possibilities for more complex types of games are virtually endless.

Vaping Devices

The world of vaping is about to enter its second generation. If you already vape and have followed the industry’s development over the years, you might think that the second – and maybe even third – generations of vaping hardware have already arrived. After all, vaping devices have already changed so much as people have transitioned from cigalikes and vape pens to pod systems and mods. If you don’t think that vaping hardware still has an incredible amount of room for development, though, it’s only because you aren’t thinking about the bigger picture. Giving people a viable, convenient and satisfying alternative to tobacco was only the first part of the equation for vaping. Smartphone control of vaping devices is surely the future because it’ll open up a world of new possibilities.

Smartphone control of vaping devices opens up a world of possibilities that will only speed tobacco along the road to complete irrelevancy. These are just a few of the features that you can expect as smartphone control becomes more common in the vaping industry.

  • Better feedback about – and finer control over – your nicotine consumption and vape juice usage.
  • Automatic counting of your number of puffs per day, giving you the ability to reduce vaping at your own pace if you wish.
  • Touch-based biometric user identification to automatically recall favorite settings for different users and prevent underage vaping.

Home Security Systems

One of the biggest ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic affected the developed world is that people changed their purchasing habits in a huge way, triggering a massive shift toward online purchasing. People around the world spent more than $4.2 trillion online in 2020, and that trend isn’t likely to reverse itself any time soon. It’s not uncommon, in fact, for some people to receive deliveries almost every day – and if parcels are being left at your doorstep daily, you do not want your home to become a target for theft. That’s one reason why sales of home security systems are booming, and smartphones are at the center of that trend.

In the past, a security camera was a completely passive device. You’d mount the camera and turn it on, and it would send a video feed to a tape recorder all day long. If you didn’t watch the tape, you’d have no way of knowing whether something had happened. Eventually, companies created security cameras that saved videos to hard drives, but even then, security systems remained passive and limited in their usefulness.

Today, you can make your home more secure than ever, and you largely have smartphone control – along with a bit of artificial intelligence and machine learning – to thank for that. These are some of the features that you’ll get with a modern smartphone-controlled home security system.

  • Automatic detection of movement and recognition of people, animals and vehicles. A modern security system can actually recognize what’s happening outside your door and alert you on your smartphone if there’s an event that requires your attention. You can watch your security system’s video feed from anywhere.
  • Automatic tagging of interesting events for later watching. Instead of watching the full recording for a day, you can just watch the times when the security system detected unusual movement.
  • Automatic cloud-based storage of all videos. If a security system is vandalized, it won’t matter because the video of the event will already be saved remotely. There’s no chance of a security video being lost because of on-site equipment damage.
  • Instant connectivity to emergency services. When your security system sends an alert to your smartphone, you can contact the police, the fire department or a security contractor with one click.




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