Know your smartphone:5 thing it can do for you

The multi-tasking monster in your pocket is far more powerful than you think. Some intelligent apps, a few hardware additions, and these incredible-sounding functions are literally at your finger tips.
Home Controls

This one requires more investment. You need to install the Crestron automation system (price on request from india@crestronasia. com), download the free Crestron Mobile G app and configure it to your home’s control unit.

Your iOS or Android device controls the system over Wi-Fi or any cellular data network, even when you’re not home. The things you can do: adjust the AC temperature, curtains, lights, media playback/volume and even unlock the front door.

Car Controls
Start your car, lock/unlock all doors, release the boot (if your car is equipped with electronic boot release) – the SmartStart system from Viper Technologies does it all. All you need is the SmartStart kit (get it from, priced between $250 to $539.99) and the SmartStart app for your iPhone. The shout value is a reason enough. But there are practical benefits too. For instance, it can get the car AC working on a hot day even before you even reach the parking lot.

Photographs with DSLR

If you have a compatible Canon or Nikon DSLR, the DSLR Camera Remote app for iPad/iPhone ($9.99- $24.99) can activate the camera’s shutter, record video, adjust exposure, bracketing, ISO, white balance, etc. Connect your camera to a computer using USB or Wi-Fi, install the free DSLR Camera Remote Server application and get the app on your iOS device.

Personal Spy Drones

Parrot’s AR.Drone 2.0 ($299 excluding shipping and customs) is a quadricopter with dual video cameras controlled using an iOS or Android device and a free app by the same name. The drone emits its own Wi-Fi network, which connects with your device. Flying is controlled by the phone’s accelerometer. A built-in camera records 720p HD videos from the drone that can be saved on the connected device.

Infrared Remote Controls

No, your phone doesn’t have an infrared emitter, but with Griffi n’s Beacon ($69.99, excluding shipping and customs), it sure acts like it does. The sleek, stone-like device syncs with your smartphone via Bluetooth. Download the free iOS app called Dijit Universal Remote and configure your appliances with the app. Your phone will operate anything controlled by an infrared remote – TV, AC, heater, etc. What about dongles and cords? Not required. Click a button in the app, the phone sends a signal to the Beacon, which converts it into an infrared signal and transmits it to the appliance.


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