As phone technology has gotten better and more advanced, so have the things we can do with it. However, no phone is as advanced as some of the attachments we can purchase to enhance or otherwise hack our phones. That is what makes some of these add-ons absolutely amazing in terms of turning an ordinary mobile into something extraordinary. These aren’t just things you can only do with an iPhone, rather, they can be done with any smartphone that has a supported OS. While some of them may seem a bit silly, chances are you know someone, or at least have heard of someone who can or could use some of these tips and tricks for themselves. Who knows, you might even find Nessie with the Deeper Fish Finder (more on that in item five below).
1. Watch regular TV over the air: So you can connect to Hulu and Netflix (thanks VPN), and watch what they have to offer on your mobile or tablet, but what about regular telly? Well, with the Belkin Dyle, you can plug right into your phone charger port and pick up the TV signal, just like you might have done ages ago with one of those old portable televisions that were so awfully expensive when they came out.
2. Check a window for drafts and air leaks: One of the most interesting hacks for your phone is a thermal imaging device. These are little camera attachments that convert thermal signatures into images that you can read to actually ‘see’ hot and cold. While you can use it to play SAS, there’s a much more practical too use in that you can check your windows for drafts. That will help you to save money on heating, as you’ll be able to identify leaks and fix them up. Of course, there are other uses for the device, such as checking for someone hiding in the dark, or looking for a pet that won’t come in, making this a very cool and useful device.
3. Stop yourself from driving drunk: Not that you aren’t the responsible sort, but there are times where you might think you’ve had enough time between drinks that you’re ok to drive, but the police might be inclined to disagree with you. Thanks to the BACtrack Vio, you can now check your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) in about 5 seconds. This little device will even tell you about how long you have to wait before you can drive safely, letting you know whether you should get a cab or call a friend.
4. Find out why the check engine lights on your car are on: If you have ever had that ‘check engine’ light come on in your car, then you will appreciate this. For about the cost of an oil change you can get a little machine called ‘Automatic’ that will connect to your car’s computer, and then sync with your mobile. It lets you know what’s wrong, so you can either take your car to the shop, or fix it yourself if it’s a small problem.
5. Measure muscle mass and check your fitness: If you want to track real fitness, and not just your weight (because weight is just a small part of being fit), then you want to get the Skulpt Aim, which will give you some serious details on how you’re doing in the gym. Specifically it will measure muscle size with little electrodes, and will even recommend exercises to help in areas you need to improve on.
6. Become a better basketball player: This is actually pretty cool in terms of ‘oh wow’ device hacks. It’s a basketball that you can pair with your mobile. Then it tracks the spin of the ball, bounce, and force exerted when shooting. It’s like having an expert coach, and gives you live feedback while you practice (or while you’re playing if you cheat). It’s called the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball and can do worlds towards improving your shooting.
This is just some of what you can do with your mobile. Don’t forget that there are always newer and more interesting devices coming out that support different phones too, so if you can think of it, chances are someone else has probably already made it. These little things have the ability to make life much more interesting, and can sometimes really make a difference, rather than just being a cool trick to show your friends.