I’ve been tinkering around with the Nook Simple Touch to see if I can make it into a browser kiosk. It’s an e-reader from Barnes & Noble similar to the Kindle, but it’s very cheap; on offer now in the US for $59 and in the UK for £29! It runs Android and you can pretty easily jailbreak it.
Turns out it’s very easy to turn it into your own browser kiosk!
What can I do with it?
The first thing that pops to my mind is single-purpose, fixed home gadgets.
- Wall clock: Show the time, weather and what our calendars show for today.
- Home Automation Remote: Put it on the wall next to the light switches. Show controls for wireless lights, music and volume etc.
- Everything in one device: Touch display, web browser, WiFi
- Thin product that easily can be mounted to a wall
- Low power consumption because of E-ink display (however WiFi does drain it over a day or so)
- Good exercise in UI constraints – monochrome display with slow refresh rate
Let’s do it!
Root the Nook
Follow the instructions here: http://www.babblingengineer.com/how-to/how-i-turned-my-nook-into-an-e-reader-monster/
Install the browser kiosk
On your computer:
Install Phonegap: npm install -g phonegap
Make a Phonegap app:
phonegap create nook-kiosk
Add your web page to the www/ folder or point the project to your website
Build with Android as target platform: phonegap run android
After a short while, your app is ready.
Open the URL to your APK file in your Nook browser. You will be asked if you want to install it. Do it!
update system set value=’-1′ where name=’screen_off_timeout’;
Now you can have an awesome touch-based remote for your home automation system – have it always display the menu and put it up on the wall together with the light switches
Questions I still haven’t solved
- Can we use the physical side buttons? (There’s two on the left side and two on the right)
- Can we disable the home button?
- How to make the kiosk app autostart? As of now, I’ve used an app from the Kindle App Store to do it for me.
Does this give you ideas? Let me know in the comments!