How to Create Your Own Kiosk Using Home Assistant

Kiosks are one of the great inventions in today’s era of technological development. Usually found in malls, waiting areas, offices, and business establishments, kiosks are stand-alone computer-like devices that let you navigate, access, and carry out tasks digitally. This device can assist you in performing your tasks and transactions in a more efficient manner.

What are the uses of a kiosk?

Kiosks are employed in various settings to help users complete their task without the need for human assistance. Since they act like computers, they are intelligent and efficient in dealing with your businesses. Listed below are some situations wherein a kiosk can be useful.

  • For self-service check-ins at airports
  • To order food at self-service restaurants
  • To navigate around in shopping malls, hotels, and museums
  • To shop online and look for products in retail stores
  • To display digital signage
  • For internet accessing

How can you use Home Assistant to make your own kiosk?

Home Assistant is a home automation software that allows you to control, track, and automate your smart system in just a few taps on your screen. With Home Assistant, you can now create your own kiosk browser for free. You can transform your android tablet into a kiosk and then change its settings to make it more interactive and to incorporate specific applications and websites you want to include. Interested in making your kiosk using Home Assistant? We’ll walk you through the process.

What is kiosk mode and how does it work?

You can turn your android tablet into a kiosk by setting your device to kiosk mode. This means that your device will be locked to specific applications and sites to act as a kiosk. You or an IT team can configure and customise these applications so that you can prevent users from using other applications and websites other than what you specified. Thus, you have total control of the contents displayed on the device. 

Setting up Home Assistant on your Tablet

It’s important to note that Home Assistant only works with android devices. So, if you have an iPad or other iOS devices, HA will be of no use. Before you mount your device onto the wall, download and install Fully Kiosk first on your tablet or android device. Modify the settings you want to change in Fully Kiosk. For starters, you can turn on remote access so that your kiosk will be accessible on your mobile phone. Go to Settings and then tap Remote Administration (Plus). Turn on the first 5 items shown on the screen, and then set a password.

Mounting your Android Device

Once you’re done setting up the software, you can now insert your tablet into your wall mount enclosure. You can use the Vidabox Mount for this process. After which, connect your device to a power supply using an adapter or an Ethernet POE to micro USB. 

Configuring your kiosk

Now that you have firmly fixed your tablet onto your wall mount, you can continue setting up and configuring your kiosk. You will need to determine your tablet’s IP address from the network settings so that you can access and change the programming of your kiosk remotely. Some settings you can customise include the start URL, screen off timer, screen lock, and screen activation upon motion detection. Aside from these, you can also enable or disable various settings from your remote access like pull to refresh, back button, keyboard, and scrolling and pinching to zoom in or out. 

Conclusion

Kiosks are extremely helpful to accomplish tasks more efficiently. This digital assistance removes the need for human assistance in doing transactions such as navigating, browsing, checking-in, or ordering. That’s why kiosks are a great addition to your smart system. 

If you need help in configuring your kiosks or other smart devices, Technology On Tap can provide you with the technical assistance you need. We have the best IT experts to provide you with IT solutions in Sydney. We also have highly-qualified technicians who specialise in automation. We guarantee to give you your money’s worth by providing you with high-quality home, building and commercial automation services at an affordable price.

Give us a call today at 02 9517 1726, and experience world-class smart home automation services the Technology On Tap way.

How to Create Your Own Airplay + Spotify Server

Playing music is one of the most popular ways of entertaining ourselves. We listen to music as we work, study, travel, and even when we sleep. Music is also a great way to express our feelings and moods. We listen to lively and upbeat songs when we want to stay awake and energetic, or to sad and mellow songs when we want to cry. Thanks to music streaming apps, we can listen to millions of songs without the need to download them individually. 

Spotify is one of the leading song and podcast streaming software available for you to download on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. This application allows you to listen to millions of songs and content from millions of artists around the world. It is downloadable for free on various smart devices but it has premium features for a more enjoyable and ad-free music streaming.

What is Airplay and How Does It Work?

Apple Airplay is a feature on Apple devices that lets you broadcast content from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch on your Apple TV, AirPort Express, or AirPlay-enabled speakers. So, you can watch videos and project photos on a bigger screen or listen to music on a loudspeaker. 

To begin streaming, you need to connect your iOS device and Apple TV or AirPlay-compatible speaker to the same Wi-Fi network. Open the Control Center on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch screen and then tap Airplay. It looks like a rectangle with a solid triangle at the bottom. From there, you can select the device you want to stream content to and then your Apple TV or speaker will broadcast the photo, video, or music you chose to play.

Why Do You Need to Create Your Own Airplay and Spotify Server

It’s important to note that AirPlay only works for Apple devices and those with the latest iOS. That means you cannot play Spotify via AirPlay unless you’re using an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Apple TV. Creating your own AirPlay + Spotify server lets you play Spotify songs from your Apple devices to your AirPlay receivers over the Wi-Fi. That means you can control your music over your multi-room Airplay-enabled stereo system. You can synchronise your songs and change the settings of your audio using your iOS device.

Setting up your AirPlay + Spotify Server

The first thing you’ll need to do is to download the server. There are a lot of third-party servers online that you can use, such as Plex and Raspberry Pi. Once you’ve downloaded the software on your Mac, you need to open them and then configure the settings so that you can choose your media files and music source. Connect the server to the service, which serves as the bridge from the server to receivers, and then configure the router. After doing these steps, your server is good to go.

Connecting the Server to your Apple Device

Download the complementary app of your server on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch and then select the server you’ve set up beforehand. Streaming should work shortly after. You can now use your Apple device to play Spotify music. You can also control various settings such as the volume and latency of every AirPlay-compatible speaker you have.

Conclusion

Songs, podcasts, and other contents on Spotify are best played on high volumes. If you have AirPlay-enabled speakers around your house, creating your own AirPlay + Spotify server can help you automate and control your audio from your iOS devices. 

Technology On Tap is Sydney’s most trusted provider of high-quality automation and IT management services. We guarantee that you get the best value for your money so that you can live comfortably, efficiently, and securely. We’ve partnered with various automation brands like Apple Inc. to provide you with the home automation system that you desire. 

Experience the latest in home innovations through Technology on Tap. If you need professionals to automate your home or to provide you with technical assistance, feel free to call us at 02 9517 1726. 

How to Install a Loudspeaker Alert System

A loudspeaker system at home or in commercial spaces is an excellent safety and security facility to alert people in the area in times of emergency. Warning sounds broadcast through your speaker system are meant to notify everyone in the area for possible danger or the need to evacuate. Schools, malls, and large commercial complexes employ loudspeaker systems during times of emergency. These situations make a loudspeaker alert system essential to every smart home or building. 

Why Should You Install a Loudspeaker Alert System

Over the years, alarm systems have proven to be useful in various circumstances that require prompt action. Loudspeaker alert systems are used to advise people in schools or malls to evacuate the area due to an earthquake, fire, or bomb threat. They are also used to ward off robbers during a break-in at home. Moreover, this security system greatly enhances the efficiency of alerting everyone in the area. It alarms everyone near the vicinity in the shortest amount of time possible.

Modern loudspeaker alert systems are smart. You can customise alert templates and store them in the system so that when the need for them arises, it will automatically generate the appropriate signal. Aside from this, smart speaker systems can now connect to mobile data networks and Wi-Fi. You can remotely access your alert system through your smartphone and get notified whenever a breach in the system occurs.

Loudspeaker Alert System Installation Guide

Loudspeaker alert systems are very easy to install. Unlike the traditional hardwired alarm system, modern alert systems are powered by batteries and are wireless. Some are portable while most are fixed to a wall. Because they are wireless, it eliminates the tedious task of opening the walls to turn the device on and access peripheral components. Here’s how you can make your loudspeaker alert system.

Mounting your Loudspeaker System’s Main Panel

Most loudspeaker alert systems are ready to use. You just have to take the panel out of the box and then mount it near your main entry door. The main panel and keypad is the main control centre of the system. You can use this part to activate or deactivate the system and to program the settings.

Before mounting the panel, we advise that you mark the areas on the wall first to ensure that the hardware is levelled. You can install the system by drilling holes and then attaching it using fasteners or by simply using double-sided adhesive. 

Connecting to the Power

Connect the panel of your loudspeaker system to a nearby power source. This will allow your alarm system to operate. Some system still operates without power supply for 24 hours after a power interruption has occurred, as long as cellular data networks or the Wi-Fi works.

Install the sensors and detectors around your house

Your loudspeaker alert system includes a basic door and window alarm sensors. It may also have motion detectors. You will need to place these accessories throughout your home so that the system can detect and react to the movement of your doors and windows. You can move and relocate these detectors and sensors around the house so that you can place them in optimum locations.

Test your loudspeaker alert system

Follow the instructions on the manual of your alert system. Testing your loudspeaker alert system is crucial to ensure that the system works well.

Conclusion

Our house is our safe space. That’s why a loudspeaker alert system is a perfect addition for the safety and security system of your smart home. Anything can happen anytime, so it’s important to keep everyone prepared and alert. Through your home alert system, you can rest assured that your family and property will be safe even though you’re all sleeping or away from home.

If you’re planning on getting a loudspeaker alert system, Technology on Tap will gladly assist you. As your best IT services provider in the Sydney area, we will help you find the perfect loudspeaker alert system that you need. We guarantee the best value for your money by providing you with high-quality home automation services at an affordable rate. We also have a team of professional installers who will do the job of making your home alert system.

Feel free to call us today at 02 9517 1726, and experience the safety and security provided by our smart home automation systems. 

Top 10 Best Smart Lights Available Today

Today’s technological advancements have remarkably made life more convenient. With smart technologies, you can now automate or remotely control almost anything you can imagine. Smart lighting is amongst the home automation items that have successfully made it into the limelight. Given the convenience and energy-efficiency that they offer, smart lights make an excellent addition to your smart home system. 

Attributes of a Smart Light

Light bulbs have grown smarter nowadays. Smart lights offer various customisation, scheduling, and automation that traditional light bulbs lack. With just a few taps on your smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch, you can control your smart lights beyond just turning them on or off. You can also increase or decrease the brightness, change the colour and temperature, or set a schedule for your lights to power on or off. Voice command systems like Alexa and Google Assistant are also compatible with smart lights so that you can control your lights with your voice. 

You don’t even need to control some smart lights every time. You can set a schedule and timer for your lights to automatically turn on or off. You can also automate your smart lighting so that it activates or deactivates when you reach a certain point in your house. Smart light bulbs also offer complementary effects for when you’re watching a movie or listening to music. 

Top 10 Best Smart Lights You Can Buy

The increasing popularity of smart lighting has led to thousands of smart lights available in the market. This makes choosing the best one for your space more difficult. To help you decide, we’ve narrowed down the list of best smart lights available today to ten. 

  1. Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED

Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant | Hub Required: No | Lifetime: 25,000 hours | Brightness: 800 lumens | Power consumption: 9 watts 

  1. Philips Hue White And Color Ambiance

This light bulb works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit, and can connect to every smart home product. Furthermore, the Philips app has a lot of features and modes you can change so that you can do more with its lights. This bulb is easy to install and has vibrant colour effects.

  1. Wyze Bulb

The Wyze bulb only works with Alexa and Google Assistant. It is an expensive smart light bulb with adjustable brightness and temperature feature.

  1. Yeelight Smart LED Bulb (Colour)

This is an inexpensive colour LED bulb that you can control using HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. It offers a 16-million colour palette and it’s dimmable. Moreover, it also has a scheduling and timer option available. 

  1. Sengled Smart LED with Motion Sensor

This smart floodlight works with Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, and IFTTT. It has a built-in motion detector and daylight sensor, making it an excellent light for your pathway. This LED also has weatherproofing to protect it from the rain and harsh weather conditions. 

  1. Ring Solar Pathlight

The Ring Solar Pathlight is the more expensive lighting option for your outdoor walkways. It has an aesthetic appearance and a motion-detector. This smart light works with Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT and can be connected to other Ring smart devices.

  1. Lifx Mini

This small light bulb is the perfect solution to light up mini fixtures. It works with Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit and connects to the Wi-Fi so that no hub is required for Lifx Mini to work. This smart light offers excellent modes and features such as syncing your music.

  1. Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Lightstrip

This smart light strip works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit. It is usually sold at a length of 80 inches but you can trim it or add up to 40 inches of extension. This light strip features multiple colours and is extremely flexible. 

  1. TP-LINK Kasa Filament Wi-Fi Light Bulb

The TP-LINK Kasa Filament is a strip type of smart light that works with Alexa and Google Assistant. This light strip is great for mood-setting since you can adjust its brightness and customise the various modes and settings this smart light offers. It also allows you to track your energy usage

  1. Nanoleaf Canvas

The Nanoleaf Canvas is not a bulb type but a panel type of smart light. You mount it on the wall to make fun, colourful, and decorative lighting that you can customise and set up. These easy-to-install smart panels work with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit. 

How to Choose the Best Smart Light

Choosing the best smart light for your home may be confusing, especially if you’re uncertain with what you want. You have to consider several factors like the cost, colour, temperature, brightness, and convenience offered to get the smart light you intend to buy. Selecting the best smart light for your space doesn’t have to be stressful. You can always contact your most reliable IT experts in Sydney to help you with. 

Technology On Tap offer consultations and IT advice to give you the best smart automation system for your home or commercial spaces. Whether you’re looking for a smart light bulb, strip light, or panels, we promise to provide you with premium quality smart lighting at an affordable rate. We can also install and set up your smart lights and other home automation devices in Sydney. Call us now at 02 9517 1726 or send us an email for your smart automation needs.

Best Budget Home Theatre Setup

People pay for movie tickets to experience quality sound and picture. When it comes to movie theatres, the quality of the video and immersive audio experience breathes life into your favourite movies. Besides these featured qualities, cinema has a wider screen that takes up almost every angle of your view. So, in general, movie cinema offers an extraordinary experience than your ordinary television. 

With today’s advanced and cutting edge technology, people can now recreate that cinema experience at the comfort of their home. The only challenging thing you need to encounter is to build your home theatre without breaking your savings. If you’re planning to make a home cinema at the bare minimum, you need to know which items to purchase and not. 

How to Choose the Right Home Cinema System On A Budget

Make your home cinema project successful even if you’re on a budget. There are plenty of ways you can do to meet the home cinematic criteria. Learn the right and basic items to pick and display for a better home cinema experience. 

  • Room. If you’re planning to set up your home theatre, make sure there’s a dedicated space for all your home cinema equipment. Since your home theatre is not just about electronic devices; a home cinema also involves cabinet, sofa or recliner. You might also want to place an additional mini-fridge and a snack bar later on.
  • Surround sound system. For an extraordinary surround-sound system, this setup requires at least four speakers. The surrounding system is the only difference that sets your home cinema apart from your ordinary television. And we purchase a movie ticket just to experience the enveloping quality of background noise in the movie.
  • Home cinema electronics system. The electronic system is the brain or more like a PC processor that creates a whole new and remarkable theatre-like experience. Without your receiver to interpret and amplify the input devices, your sound system and television will not work. Your electronic system distributes the signals to your audio system, and output devises.
  • Display devise. A home theatre will not be possible without the device that will display the video content. Ideally, for an amazing cinematic experience, look for a display device that supports both HDR and 4K. Don’t mind about the operating system or interface for as long as it has a better display resolution. A Blu-ray player will do everything to make your home cinema completely extraordinary.

There’s no size requirement for your home theatre displaying device. Whether you’re on a budget or not, the basic rule for purchasing a television for your home cinema is to go as big as you can afford. 

On A Budget Home Cinema Tip

If you’re on a tight budget but eager to create your home cinema; consider shaving your unnecessary expenses and save them for your project. Just because you’re on a budget, you’ll have to cut the cost of purchasing cheaper items that might not even last for a year or two. Look at these valuable and helpful on a budget home cinema tips:

  • Consider the long-term costs such as repairs and maintenance.
  • Saving money on purchases doesn’t mean buying cheap items.
  • Consider purchasing some refurbished products.
  • Don’t purchase everything all at once.

IT Management Services in Sydney

The trick in creating your home cinema is to purchase the most basic items and upgrade occasionally or as long as your budget permits. But, if you’re still not sure where to begin and how to set them all up, call a reliable IT services provider in Sydney. 

Technology On Tap provides high quality IT management services and home automation services in Sydney. We always make sure that our clients will get the best value of their money when it comes to innovative solutions.

If you want to get your home automated or you need technical assistance, call Technology On Tap today at 02 9517 1726. Don’t hesitate to let us know what type of IT services you need.