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How to Make the Most of Your Smart Devices

Smart devices like smartphones, tablets and smart watches do more than just their intended functions. Yes, you can make calls and send emails. Yes, you can browse the internet and play games. And of course, you can take pictures and videos. But these smart devices have so much more functionality to offer, and many people may not realize it.

Here are some ways to use your smart device to make your life easier:

Accept credit card payments

Several companies make small devices that plug into your phone or tablet's headphone jack, allowing you to accept credit card payments. If you'd rather punch the credit card numbers into a website, that's an option, too. For both, you'll need internet access and an account. With these systems, you can easily accept payment for crafts or goods you're selling at a fair, books you're selling at a talk or any other occasion where you want to easily accept payments.

Pay for goods

Leave the wallet at home, and connect your device to a payment system that stores your credit card or banking information. Then, just tap your phone on the store's device or let it scan a bar code. You can store coupons and loyalty cards on your phone too. You'll carry less, while having all your shopping necessities in one place.

Scan documents

Whether traveling or at home, use your smart devices as scanners. Capture, share or store receipts and other documents in various file formats.

Check maps and directions

You no longer need to buy a stand-alone GPS system for your car. Phones and other smart devices have built-in maps offering directions. You can also download various GPS apps, which are good about rerouting you depending on traffic or accidents.

Track food and fitness

If you don't want to wear a fitness tracker on your wrist, just use your watch or phone. These mobile devices can monitor your daily footsteps, map and track your runs and calculate nutrition information based on the foods you input into the app. Take charge of your health using these trackers.

Keep an eye on your house

You can turn your smart devices into surveillance cameras or baby monitors. Find apps online that allow you to stream and store videos from your phone. The camera can be on continuously, or you can set it to start based on detected motion. Watch the video live or recorded from another device or computer.

Turn your phone into a remote control

Some higher-end phones with infrared blasters can be used to control anything responding to an infrared signal. Use it to control your television by downloading or activating an app already on the phone.

Use smart home apps

Pair your smart home with your device by controlling parts of your home using an app. You can get individual systems to control your temperature and door locks, or get an integrated system for a comprehensive smart home. Using Vivint Sky, for example, lets you access and control the surveillance cameras, the thermostat, the garage door and the security system, in addition to door locks.

When used to their fullest capacity, smart devices can make your life easier and safer. Try using your devices for something more than just answering the phone or taking a photo, and see how they can improve your quality of life.

Contact Vivint to learn more about smart home technology.