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April 04, 2020

 

Hey, Siri... Don't Bother Daddy!

2 min read

In the new world, where many of us are working 100% from home, it can be really difficult to find quiet and focus. Distractions abound, especially if you have kids. As I mentioned yesterday, closed office doors don't seem to get the message across to my children, so I thought it would be great if I could have a digital sign on my offce door. Well, I made it happen.

I'm really happy with how it turned out! How did I do it? It was pretty simple, really. I had a really old Amazon Fire tablet that hasn't been used in years, as the kids have both transitioned over to iPads. So, I charged it up, installed a "full screen browser" app and a hack that lets you keep the screen awake perpetually. Then, I wrote a quick web service to track state, and hooked it into HomeKit and Siri using Homebridge and this excellent plugin.

Tada! Now I can toggle the state of the sign using just my voice, or with automations. I can even automatically flip the status to "Don't Bother Daddy" when my calendar shows that I am scheduled for a meeting.

Update: the source code is available for the web service.

 
 

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