Wall mounted tablet for smart home...do I really need it?

project_dashboard

#1

I know, it’s not a question of if I NEED it, it’s if I WANT it. And yes, I’m constantly searching the forums to look at people ideas. I constantly think about setting one up, purely because I think it would be a cool thing to have. I have a couple extra / old tablets lying around, so why not.

Every time I think about setting one up…I get blocked at what would I even use it for…? Right now, my girlfriend and I just take out our phone to look at / control whatever we need. Or we use one of the Amazon Echo’s to control something.

Maybe I just don’t have enough “things” in my home or my home isn’t big enough for it to be beneficial? The only thing I’ve considered it to be useful for is to display my security cameras and maybe the thermostat (nest). Other than that, our phones and the Echo’s are generally quicker.

What have you guys been using your wall mounted tablets for? I have SmartTiles set up and I use it all the time at work for a quick glance, but generally, I rely most on my SMS notifications I have set up.


#2

Ours is actually used most for visitors. We have a lot of people coming through the house, not just friends and family but also healthcare workers. The wall mount tablet is just a really easy way for everybody to do what they want to do. We also use voice with echo a lot. :sunglasses:

If your household is just two adults, each of whom always has a phone within reach, then it probably doesn’t add as much.


#3

That’s exactly how I feel. I constantly see people using SmartTiles, so I set it up to try and use it. And I look for reasons to utilize one of my extra tablets, but can never think of a good use for it. lol.

I might try and do something with the security cameras.


#4

If you have extra tablets just laying around doing nothing then set them up for the sole reason of utilizing them instead of them sitting in a drawer. I hardly use my tablets, some are really for visitors but its nice to glance at every now and then. If you have android devices you can always install LANnouncer if you want your house to speak to you on certain actions. You can also setup the tablets as IP cameras so you can monitor that room. There is even an Alexa Listens app so you can essentially turn a tablet into a Touch Control, Voice Control, Announcer and an IP camera. It would do all of that by just being setup and sit pretty on a shelf. I think you can even have an intercom interface between them. So it can do a lot just depends on your needs. Although if you’re not using them then why not use it just to put it to use? You didn’t buy it just so it can sit in a drawer did you? :stuck_out_tongue:


#5

There’s another use for a tablet in a home automation system: it can anchor a number of Bluetooth devices. IBeacons, Flic buttons, satechi Bluetooth buttons, speakers, etc. They can also host an intercom app. in those cases, smarttiles becomes the bonus feature. :wink:


(Steve) #6

I am sooooo with this thread. Like you the tablets to me look cool (and i have a bunch of old ones) and sounds like a great idea but I struggle with the “will we use it?” And like you we have Echo’s around and I’d say use them 60/40 compared to the phone app to control things. I’m intrigued by your comments on the use for security cameras tho, which I plan on adding to my system soon. I would be interested, if you end up going that route, how it works out for camera use and is it something you view often enough to warrant an implementation.


(Martin) #7

@JDRoberts love the idea of hosting an intercom app. Two questions, do you have a favorite app and do you know if smart tiles can launch third party apps from a tile using something like published url schemes.

I found a great ios browser app (icab) which has an excellent kiosk mode to run smart tiles; I’d love to keep within the browser to launch apps if poss. Thanks.


#8

Tagging @tgauchat


(Ray) #9

I look at it a little different. I don’t think I will live without my wall tablet with ST anymore. It’s a status screen using Smarttiles and also a quick way to turn on/off some of the stuffs in the house. I use it to check the status of my modes/front door video/room temp/kid’s lights/energy… It’s just not a cool thing to have but I find it way more useful than pulling out my phone. Open the app… Go into the room… Just to turn on a light.


#10

As far as intercom apps, people want very different features depending on their particular use case. So you’re going to end up with different favorites.

One) do you want touch to speak or do you want it always on? Baby monitors are always on, but most adults want touch to speak for intercoms. At my house, we use always on because I want everything hands-free if possible and we don’t have privacy issues most of the time. So we just use Cloud Baby Monitor app, but most people will want something else.

  1. do you want to select the destination? Or broadcast all destinations at once? The second is usually called “all house intercom” both have their uses. If you’re telling the kids to come to dinner and you don’t know where they are in the house then all house intercom is helpful. Some apps let you choose a specific destination or all destinations.

  2. do you want the sound to come from devices like phones and tablets, or just speakers and televisions? Read the descriptions carefully – – many iOS intercom apps take advantage of an airplay feature which means they can’t actually have the sound coming from another tablet or phone, it can only come from a speaker.

So just read the app descriptions very carefully and make sure they fit your specific use case. :sunglasses:


#11

@dshokouhi great ideas! I do have LANnouncer set up on my phone, but I don’t really use it that much because I found that a lot of the notifications were cut off half way, so I stopped using it. But the other features / recommendations like using the tablets / old android phones as IP cameras and intercom would be pretty awesome.

@smgran, I have a number of things like this that I just sit on because I don’t think I’ll use it. lol. So yeah, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up the tablet to try and inspire cool ideas and come up blank and then stick it back in the drawer.

@Navat604, I think it depends on a persons set up, number of things and number of people in the house. For us, 2 adults, no kids, small house and a low number of devices (compared to some of you…18 devices)…just grabbing our phone, looking with our eyes or using the amazon echo is easier than going to the dedicated tablet within that room.


(Ben W) #12

I purchased 2 tablets to place in strategic locations and to use SmartTiles to control everything. Even planned to have a wall mount for it. Got everything set up and thought it was awesome.

Then, I started buying more motion sensors. Now nearly every light in my house is triggered via motion and I never use the tablet, and rarely use the app. Any one offs like opening the blinds, I use Ask Alexa to handle it

I am building a smart mirror by the front door I plan to add SmartTiles into so I can see the status of locks and things as I leave the house. I hope to really dive into it over the next couple weeks.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #13

Hi Martin…

If the browser and device support deeplink or url scheme URL’s that open native Apps (I presume like “twitter://” etc.?), then you can create Tiles in SmartTiles which will launch these URLs.

It’s configured in SmartTiles SmartApp preferences, “More Tiles”, “Links to other websites…”.

NB: I notice that we mention on that page that URLs need to start with “http”. I’m not sure if the code still enforces this. There was a bug at one point that required this limitation. Please give it a try, and if it’s not working, let me know and we’ll try to fix in a future bug-fix release, and/or make sure it is a feature of the next generation of SmartTiles “V6”. You can email me: Support@SmartTiles.click


(Martin) #14

Thanks. I’ll give that a try. Cheers


(Martin) #15

Thanks. I’ll be sure to test a few and report back for general home use. I’m away this week so will try next week.

Was just playing with an app called Line Mobile Intercom. I’m sure there’s a bunch out there. Great idea. Thank you.


#16

You suck. I googled “smart mirror” and now I want to make one, just because it looks so freaking cool.

I thought about using Motion sensors…but I have two large dogs and even with the pet safe ones, I feel like they would still trigger the sensors, especially if they’re both in the room at the same time. One is 50lbs and the other is 60lbs. For now, I have motion set up in the garage cause that’s the only area they can’t go. lol.


(Ben W) #17

I have a giant Akita (92 lbs) and she does trigger the motion. I have rules setup to only trigger if we are home after sunset and not at night. I actually thinks she likes to trigger the kitchen light, when we are in the living room. It does turn off fairly quickly and we use dimmers so we can set the brightness.

I just installed some more smart switches, plan on buying more motions so it may be an issue in places like the dining room so it may become more of an issue.

It started with only 1 room, now it has expanded into 8 rooms. My wife and I actually expect lights to turn on and off now in every room. So we are making the final push to get it done. Waiting for the iris Motions to dip in price.

The tablet by the couch has ST on it, as well as the HArmony app, and all my other Smart Home things. It is nice on occasion, but only use it maybe once a week. Hell I misplaced it for a month, fell behind the couch. Pick up one of the Amazon Kindle cheap tablets, root it and you will be set. $40 or so.


(Martin) #18

Magic Mirror - are you guys going Android Tablet and one of the mirror apps or full DIY Raspberry PI and Magic Mirrror applet?

Looks way cool!!!


(Ben W) #19

i have a rasperryPi and using MagicMirror2. I wrote a iFrame plugin to embed smartTiles. Its not perfect but for phase 1 it will work (have to login to ST on boot)

I plan to write a smartApp to have apiCalls to the device. Just more work and I actually need to build the mirror.

Once I get it up and running I will post a thread.


(Jesse S) #20

I have to concur with the general theme here – lots of cool things get developed in this community, but only a small fraction are ever actually useful for our home. At first I was installing everything, but with experience, I’ve become better at identifying the most-likely-to-be-used-apps. These days, almost everything is automated and finely tuned to our lifestyle. It’s silly, but I wish there were new types of hardware to buy that could be incorporated into the ecosystem. What do you do when there’s nothing left to automate?