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10 Cool Things You Didn't Know Your Smartphone Could Do

John Sprout-smith

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if you have a smartphone and still only use it to talk and text, you’re seriously missing out on the loads on things you can use it for. Here are a few awesome extra things your phone can do.

1. Pay for things

Forget about carrying your wallet everywhere, you can pay with a swipe of your smartphone anywhere there is a PayPass terminal. Once set up, this works through inbuilt NFC (Near Field Communication) technology in most android phones which you link to your account. To date, Apple has not included an NFC chip in iPhones (although rumours are running hot that a recent patent filing covering NFC might mean the iPhone 6 could be the first). Commonwealth Bank has recently launched the CommBank Tap & Pay which enables both iPhone and Android users to use their phone to make payments from their bank account. iPhone users simply purchase a Pay Tag containing the NFC chip to attach to their phone under a phone case.

2. Internet access

If you have mobile data, your smartphone can become a wireless network enabling you to connect laptops or tablets to the internet when you’re in a pinch (it can chew up your data allowance quickly). Simply set up your Personal Hotspot in your phone settings and it will appear as an available network on your other devices.

3. Unlock doors

One more thing you can get rid of is your house key. With a smartphone and a Kwikset KEVO Bluetooth enabled deadbolt, your front door with open with a tap whenever you have your smartphone or the provided fob on you. Hotel Group Starwood is also launching a virtual room key as part of its Starwood Preferred Guest app.

4. See in the dark

With the FLIR One you can turn your iPhone 5 into a personal thermal imaging device. Since everything either emits or reflects heat energy, thermal imaging gives us a whole other way of seeing things. You can see in the dark, even through thick smoke. You can literally see the beginning of a child’s fever, find pets in the dark or in thick bush, locate studs in walls, see where heat is escaping from your house, detect moisture and even locate electrical issues. The FLIR One fits on your iPhone like a phone case and comes with its own battery which will power it for 2 hours.

5. Monitor babies, pets, people or things

The iBaby Monitor lets you monitor a baby (or anything you like) through your smartphone. You can receive alerts when the baby moves or cries, take photos from the app, listen and even talk to your baby through the monitors’ speakers. A very handy app for keeping an eye on just about anything.


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