We run a boutique hotel. In one of the suites there’s an iPad installed which controls various smart devices. We currently use the Apple Home App.
It’s been a few years and all is well besides the fact that guest often mess with the settings in the Home App and configuration and things get really out of whack. It often becomes a problem when the next guest cannot control basic functions like close the shades.
I’ve been reading about Sharp Tools and I think it will be a better solution for us.
I’m just not quite grasping what is required to make the leap over. For example, your app is often associated with Smart Things and we do not yet understand how that integration works.
We use Lutron (shades and switches) Lifx bulbs, Nanoleaf panels, Roku, and an Ecobee thermostat.
We have each of these apps also installed on the iPad (hidden away in a folder). We then created scenes in the home app such as “Open shades”, “Lock door”, etc.
I think using tiles on a Sharptools dashboard will be a much better guest experience. It seems configuring the dashboard will be easy, the help we need is with platform migration.
By the way, The luton devices require an external box (Think it’s called the bridge) which we also have installed.
Any help in navigating from where we are to your platform would be most appreciated!
SharpTools’ dashboard feature is in essence a front end for smart home hubs SmartThings, Hubitat and (in beta I think) Home Assistant. While there are some things a dashboard can display independently, weather for example, most use the dashboards primarily to control things via their hub.
As a front end, the dashboard communicates with the hub which is the back end. So for a light switch, for example, the dashboard obtains the switch’s status from the hub and displays it. Additionally, you can touch the switch’s icon on the dashboard to turn it on or off, and SharpTools will send that command to the hub, which will in turn send the command to the switch.
Unfortunately in your case, you would need to have everything that you wish to control connected to one of the hubs that SharpTools can communicate with or at least connected to SmartThings for WiFi devices. It’s possible that there are plans to add others, but @josh or @James would have to comment on that.
In regard to guests tinkering with the settings, you might look into an app that locks down the iPad. There are several of them which are typically used by corporations to lock down devices that are used as kiosks.
I think @Bry has you pointed in the right direction. SharpTools generally requires some sort of ‘hub’ to interact with your smart devices – that currently includes SmartThings, Hubitat, and Home Assistant (beta).
You can also use SmartThings without a hub as they have a number of ‘cloud-to-cloud’ connections.
A lot of users here use the Fully Kiosk Browser, but the Fully Kiosk company also offers a more restrictive version, Fully Single App Kiosk. That might be worth a look. (I use Fully Kiosk Browser but haven’t used the Fully Single app.)
iPads also have the Guided Access mode, but that may not be as restrictive as you’d like.
It looks like @James and @Bry have you covered on approaches for setting up a ‘kiosk’ experience on the device. For the dashboard itself, you might consider creating a separate ‘guest’ SharpTools account and using the Dashboard Sharing feature to share the dashboard as interact only.
That enables you to provide interaction with the various features of the dashboard, but prevent the guest account from being able to modify things.
If you decide to lock down the device itself, that might be sufficient for your needs. But the guest account is a nice layer to help separate things.