Repurposing technology might be the “thing” for your next project. In fact, I believe this is a concept that every creator should look into and leverage to their hearts content.
Now, you might have heard of repurposing tech through the lense of recycling old or unused tech to build new objects. While this is an interesting aspect of this concept, there is another approach to it which has a tremendous potential.
Repurposing Technology’s features
“What if you could use Microsoft Word in order to turn on your living room’s lights?”
“What if you could change the TV show you are watching simply by swiping your hand in mid-air?”
Questions like these are quite interesting as I believe that tech products don’t necessarily need to be used the way they were meant to be used.
Take Kinect, for instance. It was originally made as a computer vision tool for Xbox games, and now it’s used a lot by creators all around the world for their own projects.
Because they didn’t saw Kinect as some sort of toy to have fun. They saw it as powerful yet inexpensive computer vision tool with a vast amount of sensors to be leveraged.
Hell, I even had a teacher in college that made software with Kinect in order to create live animation with people’s silluettes.
Isn’t that cool?
While the Kinect example really grasps this approach, you don’t need to go that far in order to implement this concept.
There is a lot you can do with your smartphone since it is loaded with sensors, cameras and other features to leverage from. Imagine using your smartphone to create live animations like my teacher did with Kinect.
Just let your imagination flow.
Repurposing technology as a way to recycle old tech into new objects
As we saw previously, it’s a good idea to repurpose your old tech into new creations. If you like DIY and you are quite crafty, then this approach might be for you.
Now, instead of talking about what’s possible, I’d rather show you, as this is one of those cases where an image is worth much more than a 1000 words.
1- Binary Chair
2- Photo Frame made with keys
3- Repurposing old CRT Monitors as beds for you cats
4- Keyboard Earings
5- Floppy Notepad
Merging these two approaches
Nothing is stopping you from recycling old tech and leverage it’s features, if it still works.
Here is a wild idea: why not grabbing an old smartphone and “reforge” it as some sort of wii controller?
If it has an accelerometer and gyroscope, it might be possible to create cool stuff with it. As long as it can process data and use sensors, you might be able to repurpose it into something new and exciting.
So why is repurposing technology a powerful concept for creators?
To put things in a simple way, repurposing technology promotes:
- Recycling old or unused technology, which is eco-friendly;
- Skill Aquisition – you might need to learn in order to complete your project;
- Idea Aquisition;
- Creating Cool Projects.
Thank you for reading so far
Repurposing technology is something that I’m quite passionate about, specially when it comes to build crazy projects with hardware and software combined.
The main purpose of this article was to show you that repurposing technology doesn’t mean necessarily to recycle old tech into new objects, but also to leverage their functionalities into something new.
So I hope you enjoyed it!
What do you think about repurposing tech?
Would you prefer to create new objects? Would you rather leverage tech’s features? Or maybe a mix of the two?
Let me know your thoughts!
Until next time!