How can I automate: RFID, door lock, LCD and speaker?

I’m looking for advice on the best way to automate the scenario below. I’m new to SmartThings and home automation but am a software engineer and am willing to write custom code if needed, but would obviously prefer to not reinvent the wheel! :grinning:

Desired Automation Scenario

Devices: Door with lock, RFID reader & chips, LCD display, speaker.

  1. User walks up to a locked door, and scans their RFID chip.
  2. LCD display shows their picture (previously taken).
  3. Speaker plays a sound custom to them.
  4. Door unlocks.

User Management

  • Be able to manage a list of users, each with their own set of configurations.
  • Each user has their own:
    – RFID chip
    – Picture
    – Sound clip (mp3, wav, etc)
    – Movie clip (mp4, youtube link, etc)
    – Role (team 1, team 2, etc)


  1. Is there a user management solution available to SmartThings that allows me to add custom attributes to every user (like role, picture, sound clip, etc)? Or would that require SmartThings to make an external API call to a custom user management system that I’d build out?
    – If an external API is the recommended approach for this level of custom user management, then is there any SmartThings API best practices to follow here?
  2. Most other automation scenarios I’d like to perform revolve around knowing who the person is who triggered the action, and based on attributes in their profile, perform some sort of action.
  3. Can you recommend any SmartApps or physical devices that would best fit my needs?

Welcome! That sounds like a very cool project. Are you in the UK or the US? The device selection does differ.

At the present time, as far as I’m aware the only RFID reader device which works with SmartThings is the Zipato version of the benext mini keypad

So once you have that to capture the RFID input, you should be able to create something that can do the other stuff you want, although it may require multiple other devices. I would think probably an android tablet and a smart lock, but I will leave that to others to discuss. :sunglasses:

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Thanks! I’m in the US. If support for RFID is limited then I suppose I’d be open to other technology that would solve the problem.

The main requirement is that:

  1. The RFID-like device is able to be uniquely associated with a user.
  2. The proximity of the RFID-like device must be within ~5 ft radius of the reader for authentication to trigger.

The Zipato mini keypad is available on both the US and UK frequencies, so you should be fine there. The second link I gave in my post is the US version.

How many total users are you going to have?

Also @rboy may able to suggest a smart lock available in the US that works with SmartThings and also has an RFID reader. He offers a number of different popular smartapps through a paywall site, and I know one of his lock managers can handle RFID codes, I just don’t know if there’s a SmartThings-compatible US lock with that feature.

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Yale (Assa Abloy) has one lock in the US with RFID but unfortunately the US version doesn’t connect the RFID to its z wave interface so it won’t show up in ST. The U.K. Version and some Eu locks like IdLock do support that rfid to z wave interface.

Am working with Yale product division and hopefully they will provide that firmware update soon.

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Do note however that the Assa Abloy does support a Bluetooth interface to the z wave so if you unlock via your phone or some Bluetooth device and you’re using the Enhanced Z wave device handler it should work with ST.

Another option might be an android tablet, Tasker, sharptools, and NFC tags. In that case, the same tablet that reads the NFC tags could be used to display the picture. Then you would just need a smart lock to go with it.

@joshua_lyon might have more to add on that possibility.


You could definitely do this with Tasker + SharpTools and an Android device. Many Android devices have RFID readers built into them, so the Android device could act as the RFID reader and the LCD display.

  • NFC for Tasker would act as the NFC reader / trigger point (or Trigger, Locale NFC, etc).
  • Tasker would act as the brains of everything.
  • SharpTools would act as the interface to SmartThings (to unlock your door).

The idea would be to setup a Tasker profile which is triggered based on the NFC tag being read. Tasker could then grab the picture and sound based on the ID which is read from the NFC tag and then ask SharpTools to unlock the door.

One limitation is many Android devices require the screen to be on for their NFC readers to be active… if you already plan for the screen to always be on then this is a non-issue, but there are workarounds if not.

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Hello @joshua_lyon
I think your app is exactly what i am looking for and i am ready to buy the full version however please is there a way you can guide me on how to program on tasker / sharptools a step by step if you will…my scenario which goes something like this;
A NFC tag will be hidden and than with my Android phone with Tasker in it i want to scan that tag which will tell SmartThings in return through SharpTools to trigger a relay/Switch which will finally actuate a deadbolt on my door??
Please walk me through it i can learn fast and follow directions well

Have you used Tasker before? And do you already have a copy of Tasker + SharpTools + NFC for Tasker (or Trigger or a similar NFC Tasker plugin)?

No i haven not used tasker before i have had it downloaded but never got to using it, i have tasker, sharp tools and i am about to download nfc for tasker now.

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Which NFC for tasker should i use??.. any one you use in particular

I don’t personally use NFC tags, but I’ve had people use both NFC for Tasker and Trigger. I think I have some NFC tags at the office and will try it out and put together a write up for you.