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Links Siri Shortcuts

Entering your home with just a tap (using NFC & iOS)

Matt Haughey, writing for his site A Whole Lotta Nothing:

As you might have guessed from a previous post, I’m not a fan of carrying keys and or even having to use them. When I moved to a new place, I knew I’d use the front door as my main point of entry (instead of a garage attached to a house), so I wanted to get it as automated as possible, where the front door unlocks as I approach it, and locks when I leave.

Matt started with an August Smart Lock and ended up getting NFC tags so that everyone in his family could tap in and out of the house. Be sure to check out the full article for all his photos of the setup too.

This bit is excellent – I’m definitely thinking about NFC “skins” instead of having white dots all over the place:

To make them blend in a bit more, I went to my local Lowe’s and bought a $5 roll of adhesive-backed shelf paper in a maple pattern that mostly matched my wood posts. I used a NFC tag as a template, traced it onto the paper, and cut out two holes, then pulled off the backing and stuck them over the tags. From a distance, you can barely tell they’re there since I put the NFC stickers over wood knots and they look like wood repair patches now.

I’ve joked before that Matt is my smart home spirit animal – he continues to fill that role well ?.

Read the full article on A Whole Lotta Nothing.

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Offsite Podcasts

Smart Tech Today #16: Smart Tech at the Super Bowl

On this episode of Smart Tech Today, Mikah and I talk about:

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Links Siri Shortcuts

Pick random Office episode ?

If you love The Office and want to have a random episode picked for you, this shortcut is for you:

Using a dictionary filled out with the season numbers and corresponding episode counts for each, this picks a random season, then episode, then displays it in an alert as Netflix opens on the Apple TV.

Works aloud when run from Siri; good for HomePod.

Pick random Office episode ?

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Offsite Podcasts Siri Shortcuts

Smart Tech Today 11: Samuel L. Jackson on Your Amazon Echo

On episode 11 of Smart Tech Today, Mikah and I covered a K-Pop rapper’s AirPods problem, Samuel L. Jackson on your Echo, and Sling TV on your Google Nest Hub:

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Offsite Podcasts

Smart Tech Today 10: We Want Smart Blinds ?

On our tenth episode of Smart Tech Today, Mikah and I talk about these stories:

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Tips & Tricks

Automating how loud Siri replies on the HomePod

HomePod portrait

I’m a huge fan of the HomePod – after bearing the investment cost, it’s improved my daily interactions with music and opened access to controlling my smart home gear, plus provides a new medium for everything I’ve built in the Shortcuts app.

But one of the nagging problems with HomePod is the way Siri, regardless of the current time of day, will respond loudly at whatever volume you’ve previously set.

Whether it’s the middle of the night or super early in the morning, it’s all too common to ask Siri something and the answer shouted backed at you, only because you listened to music loudly sometime yesterday. Hopefully nobody wakes up, you curse at how dumb your supposedly “smart” speaker can be, and frantically try to turn it down.

Thankfully, iOS 13.2 provides a route to a solution by adding HomePods and AppleTV to scenes and automations – the HomePod didn’t fix this on its own, but, with a Home Automation, you can make it “smart” enough yourself.1