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When’s a Smartphone a Gadget?

by Izabela Turek on March 2nd, 2012
Matthew Broderick's Inspector Gadget would love the smartphone possibilities

Matthew Broderick's Inspector Gadget would love the smartphone possibilities

In many ways, the smartphone is becoming the electronic version of the Swiss Army knife – combining into a single gadget a range of relatively unrelated tools: phone, camera, calendar, map, time-keeper, alarm clock, radio, music player, etc.

And, with more apps being unveiled daily, the range of new uses just keeps on growing.

If your job has you on the road a lot, you’ll appreciate how these developments can lighten the load you carry; with the smartphone now capable of morphing, if needed, into also being: a mirror, flashlight, measuring tape, computer mouse, powerpoint pointer, dictaphone, scanner – even a stud finder.

Some of these more noteworthy Inspector Gadget-type apps include:

1. Mirror
This uses the front facing camera of your phone to display an image of yourself on the phone’s display. Simply point the front facing camera at yourself & tap the screen to freeze the image. Then tap to do it again, as needed.

2. Flashlight
This uses the phone’s LED to fill the screen with bright white light when you find yourself in the dark.

3. Point & Measure
This turns your handset into a measuring tape. Simply point the phone to an object you want to measure and based on the height of the camera lens and the tilt angle of the phone it will tell you the distance.

4. Mobile Mouse
This turns your handset into a multi-touch mouse for any operating system. You can use the phone’s screen as a trackpad, enabling regular mouse actions in addition to two-finger scroll, double-finger-tap, right-click, etc.

5. Pointer Remote
This turns your handset into a pointer and controller for Powerpoint presentations. It can show notes from presentation on the phone display along with a timer – as well as allowing you to advance or reverse the slides.

 6. Voice Recorder
This turns your handset into a dictaphone. Functionality includes, record, pause, resume buttons. Similarly, playback has seek & pause buttons. Recordings can be onward emailed, as required.

7. Genius Scan
This turns your handset into a pocket scanner. It enables you to quickly scan documents on the go and email the scans as JPEG or PDF. Handy for scanning forms, receipts, handwritten notes, recipes, book pages, whiteboards, etc.

8. Stud Finder
This turns your handset into a device for finding the wall stud locations when you want to hang a picture or whatever. One slides the phone across the wall until one gets a signal (visual & audible) on the detection of the hidden stud-nails.

If you have other ways of turning your smartphone into a gadget, that you’d like to share – please leave details in the comment box below. Thank you!

PS. For related Torc articles, please click on the following links:
1. Which Brainstorming Apps?
2. Smartphones & Personal Productivity
3. Decision-Making: New iPhone Apps
4. Cloud Computing & Personal Productivity
5. Career Management: New iPhone Apps
6. Interview Tips: New iPhone Apps

PPS. For related training programmes, please click on the pertinent links here:
1.  Mastering Personal Effectiveness
2. Management Supervisory Skills
3. Effective Interpersonal Skills
4. Business & Report Writing  

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