HSBuddy

A mobile client for HomeSeer

Smart Tags

Smart tags, are low-cost, usually small, flat labels or stickers that have an embedded NFC (near field communication) device. Smart tags can be read and/or written by tapping them with a compatible phone. Almost any recent phone is capable of communicating via NFC. Empty tags can be bought online and can be written and erased many times.

HSBuddy allows you to use smart tags to quickly open the app in a specific section or to control a device or event without having to open the app first. Since smart tags are generally inexpensive, you can get several and place them in areas around the house so you can, for example, use your phone to:

How does it work?

Using HSBuddy you can format a Smart Tag and give it a friendly name. Once a tag has been formatted with HSBuddy, the app will open automatically every time you tap the tag with your phone. Since tags are uniquely identifiable, you can assign shortcuts individually to each tag. Using shortcuts, besides opening HSBuddy, you can set the initial screen and include an action to take each time you tap the tag with your phone. For example, controlling a device or running an event on your HSServer.

Managing Smart Tags

HSBuddy lets you read, write and erase Smart Tags. Before you can use a Smart Tag with HSBuddy you need to format it so that your phone can recognize the tag and associate it with the app in the future. In order to manage tags, open HSBuddy, open the main menu and go to Options, then select Smart Tags. Once there, you will be able to do the following operations:

Format a new tag

To format a tag, tap on the right-side menu and select the option: Format tag. On the dialog that opens next, enter a friendly name for the tag and select Write tag. A pop-up with a spinner will show up next asking you to tap the tag with your phone. Once you do so, the tag will be formatted with the information you provided. The tag is now ready to be used with HSBuddy.

Once a tag is formatted, tapping your phone against the app will cause it to open HSBuddy. You can also assign shortcuts to individual tags. More information on that is available under Managing shortcuts

Read an existing tag

You can use HSBuddy to read the content of a tag if it has been previously formatted by the app. When you read a tag, the app will show you its unique ID and the friendly name it was given when it was formatted. You may need to do this to identify a tag or to import a tag that was formatted with HSBuddy using a different phone.

Forget a tag

HSBuddy will remember all formatted and imported tags. If you want to remove the tag from the list of known smart tags, you can select it from the list of tags and choose Forget tag on the dialog that opens after. Forgetting a tag does not clear its contents. After you forget a tag you may import it again into HSBuddy by reading it again, as explained under Read an existing tag

Erase a tag

You can also fully erase a tag that has been previosly formatted using HSBuddy. You may want to do this if you plan to give a tag away. Once erased, a tag content will appear empty the next time it is read.

Import and export from your server

You can import and export tags between the app and your HS server. This is useful to share tags between multiple devices, so you don’t have to add them from every single phone/tablet in your household. Additionally, in the server you will be able to see which tags exist, when was the last time each was tapped, and with which device.

By default, newly tapped tags will be exported to your HS server automatically. You can disable this behavior and only export them manually. To do this, look for the ‘Auto-export’ setting in the SmartTags section under Options.

Smart Tag Automation

Once you have formatted a Smart Tag, you can use the tag in either (or both) of the following ways:

Using with shortcuts

By default, tapping an ap will open HSBuddy. But, you can assign a specific section of the app to open for each tag individually. You may also choose to control a device or run an event as part of the shortcut. To do this, open HSBuddy, open the main menu and go to Options, then select Shortcuts. Once there, you will see at the bottom a list of Smart Tags that are known to HSBuddy. Tap on the tag you want to assign to a shortcut and follow the instructions that show afterwards. If the tag you want to assign to a shortcut is not on the list, you may need to import it. See Read an existing tag above for more details.

Although you can create shortcuts to control devices or run events this way, it is a lot more powerful to configure the automation on your HS server. See the next section for details. Shortcuts are better suited for choosing a specific screen you want to open the app into when you tap a specific tag.

Using as HS event triggers

In order to enable automation of events based on tags being tapped, you need to first export tags to your server. Once a tag has been exported to HS, you can set a trigger for an event based on the combination of device (phone) and tag (that was tapped). In order to do this, when creating an event, in the trigger section look for the option *HSBuddy: Smart Tags and then choose which device and which tap you want the event to use as trigger.

SmartTag Trigger