Using old smartphone to control a project instead of arduino?

I have an idea that I think should be out there. I don't have the knowledge to implement it myself but it still seems very possible to me. Many people have obsolete smart phones which I think could be used to control projects.

There already exist USB input/output boards such as this. Could such a device interface with an e.g. Android phone using OTG?

If your project needed a (touch) screen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular connectivity and/or a camera, using an old phone in this way could be a smart choice for economic and environmental reasons. Of course in many cases you might be better off with the Arduino but surely not always.

Does anyone think this is a good/lousy idea?

Well, when I read your title, I thought to myself, how on Earth can you use a smartphone to control something instead of an Arduino?

Then I see you mean using the smartphone only as a user interface, not as the actual control system, as the link you provide still is the equivalent of a very simple Arduino, but a PIC based board, so, nothing new here.

There are already many people doing these sorts of things with smartphones and Arduino’s, and indeed with many other micro-controllers out there.

You need to research and determine that using the USB connection on a smartphone doesn’t mean you have connectivity to all the features of the smartphone.


Android has a complete architecture for doing this already called "ADK". Have a look at