Nexudus Automation Tiles

About Nexudus Automation Tiles

Nexudus Automation Tiles let you connect actions in your space with your Nexudus account. Each tile has an NFC chip and a QR code that can be read or scanned with a smartphone. When a Nexudus automation tile is scanned or tapped, it triggers an action on behalf of the customer who scanned or tapped it.

 

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If customers already have the Passport app or its white-label equivalent on their phone, tapping or scanning the tile automatically launches the app, authenticates the customer and triggers the action.

If customers don't have the Passport app, the tile redirects them to your members portal and ask them to log in.

Some useful functions for Nexudus automation tiles are:

  • Hot-desk check in/out

Stick a tile by each hot-desk so customers can check in as they start using them. If you enable the option to cancel no-show bookings, you can also make sure your resources are used as efficiently as possible.

  • Meeting room check in/out

Stick a tile outside each meeting room to let customers check in and out of your resources. You can also use them to let your cleaning service mark resources as cleaned. 

  • Meeting room or hot-desk bookings

Stick a tile by each of your resources or by each of your hot-desks and let customers book start and finish bookings for them.

  • Help points

Stick several tiles around your space to let your customers quickly and conveniently request help or report an issue in the space.

  • Third-party integrations

Connect a tile with other services or Zapier by making the tile trigger network requests but ensure requests are authenticated before being triggered.

  • Unlock doors

Stick tiles by internal doors and let customers unlock them with their phone, even if your access control provider does not support mobile entry.

  Nexudus doesn't recommend using automation tiles to control access to critical areas of your space such as the building entrances or rooms with valuable equipment.

QR codes and NFC chips are subject to spoofing. This means they can be cloned and reprinted by potential intruders to replace existing tiles with a tile connected to a different door.

Simply put, this would mean that users accessing the door with the replaced tile would unknowingly also open a different door, granting intruders access to that other door. 

Automation tiles are an easy, inexpensive and relatively secure way to control access to area such as meeting rooms or break rooms in your space. Make sure you always geofence your tiles as tightly as possible to mitigate any risk.

Nexudus provides native integrations with several access control providers that use their own readers, offering heightened security for critical areas of your space. Some providers are also integrated with our Passport App.

Actions Available with Nexudus Automation Tiles

The following table details the different actions Nexudus automations tiles can currently trigger in your space. 

Action Description
Disabled

The tile cannot be used. Scanning it will display an error message to the user. 

This mode lets you immediately disable a tile that is malfunctioning or was stolen from your space. 

Unlock Door*

Scanning the tile will unlock a door connected to a supported access control system.

Nexudus will check the user has access to the door based on the access groups set up in your access control system.

Type the ID of the door in the access control system in the Access Control Lock/Door Unique ID field.

* Please remember that QR codes and NFC chips are subject to spoofing, meaning they can potentially be cloned and misused.

Only use Nexudus automation tiles to unlock non critical doors in your space (meeting rooms, offices, lounges, etc.)

Nexudus offers an array of access control systems integrations for external doors that are far more secure. Some of them also work with our Passport app.

Place and terminate a booking

Scanning the tile once will make a booking for a customer. Scanning the tile again by the same customer, will end that booking.

You can associate each tile with a resource and define a default booking length for bookings made using the tile.

The default length of resource bookings is 60 minutes.

If the resource has shifts defined, the tile will make a booking using the first valid shift found based on the current time. For example, if a resource can booked from 9am to 1pm, from 1pm to 5pm or from 9am to 5pm and the tile is scanned at 9:05am, we will book the resource from 9am to 1pm as that is the first shift in the list including the current time.

Place and terminate a desk booking

Scanning the tile once will make a booking for a customer. Scanning the tile again by the same customer, will end that booking.

You can associate each tile with a desk or other item in your floor plans and define a default booking length for bookings made using the tile.

The default length for desk bookings is 480 minutes.

If the resource has shifts defined, the tile will make a booking using the first valid shift found based on the current time. For example, if a resource can booked from 9am to 1pm, from 1pm to 5pm or from 9am to 5pm and the tile is scanned at 9:05am, we will book the resource from 9am to 1pm as that is the first shift in the list including the current time.

Customer Check in

Scanning the tile will check the customer in the space.

The customer will be checked in the location selected for this tile.

Customer Check out

Scanning the tile will check the customer out of the space.

If the customer wasn't previously checked in, an error will be displayed.

Check in at a booking

Scanning the tile will check the customer in their current booking.

Nexudus will start the booking if the email address of the user scanning the tile matches that of the main booker or any of the attendees.

Make sure you add the ID of the Nexudus resource when you set up the tile.

You can get the ID for a resource by going to Inventory > Resources and accessing the details of the resource. The resource ID is the number displayed in your browser bar.

Check customer in at event

Scanning the tile will check the customer in an event that is running in your space.

If customers haven't purchased tickets or signed up to the event, they will get an error message.

Mark resource as cleaned

Scanning the tile will mark the resource as cleaned.

You can set NexBoard to show when was the last time a resource was cleaned.

Make sure you add the ID of the Nexudus resource when you set up the tile.

You can get the ID for a resource by going to Inventory > Resources and accessing the details of the resource. The resource ID is the number displayed in your browser bar.

Make a request to URL

Scanning the tile will make a request from the Nexudus servers to a URL. This URL won't be visible to the user.

The data available as part of the POST requests will contain the name of the tile as well as the details of the customer.

You can sign these requests using a shared secret.

Redirect User to URL

Scanning the tile will send the customer to the provided URL.

Customers will always be asked to log in before receiving this URL.

Show New Booking Form

Scanning the tile will redirect the customer to the relevant resource booking page on the Members Portal. 

If customers have the Passport app on their phone, they are automatically redirected to the resource's booking screen on the Passport the app. 

 

Adding Automation Tiles to your Nexudus Account

You create new tiles and manage existing tiles from the Nexudus platform. You don't need to have a physical automation tile set up before adding it in the system. We do recommend you order Nexudus automation tiles or build your own automation tiles once you've tested them.    

  1. Go to Settings > Integrations > Automation Tiles and click Add automation tile.
  2. Enter the name of your new tile and select your space location.
  3. Select the action you want the tile to trigger and fill any additional field.
  4. Click Save changes.

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Nexudus form to add a new automation tile in the system.

Nexudus will generate a QR code for every tile you create. You can see and download the QR code of the tile after you saved it by clicking on the tile name and then on the mceclip1.png icon.  You can use this QR code to test the tile before getting a physical one. 

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Tile preview page in Nexudus

Ordering Nexudus Automation Tiles

You can order automation tiles from Nexudus and get them delivered to your space. Our standard tiles are about 4cm wide by about 8cm tall and include a pre-programmed NFC chip along with a unique QR code. You can choose from a range of colours and text. The tiles can either be glued or screwed to a surface. All tiles are weather proof and UV light resistant so they can be installed anywhere in your building.

You can order these at tiles@nexudus.com

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Examples of color combinations available for Nexudus automation tiles

Building your own automation tiles

Nexudus automation tiles are the combination of a QR code and a NFC chip (we use a NTAG213 tags), both programmed to launch a URL. That URL points at your Nexudus members' portal or to a section within the Passport app, depending on whether or not your customers have the Passport app on their phone. The tiles authenticate users and trigger the programmed action for each tile.

You can design and build your own tiles any way you want as long as you stick the correct barcode and write your NFC chips correctly.

Get in touch with us at tiles@nexudus.com to get more information about the specific NFC chips and materials we use if you would like to give this a go.

NFC Tools is a good app to write NFC tags and program the tiles using your phone.

Each NFC chip needs two records programmed into them. You can get the specific details using the tile preview section found in the details page for each tile you've created.

  1. A TEXT record with the unique ID of the tile (red in the example below)
  2. A URI record with the full URL of the tile (purple in the example below)

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Remember to lock or password protect the tiles after programming them to prevent others from editing them.

Restricting access to Nexudus automation tiles

Nexudus Automation tiles can be configured to work only if they are triggered by specific customer types. You can also geofence them, meaning they can only be triggered if the customer is within a given distance from the tile. 

Customer specific access

Tiles can be set so they can only be scanned by customers with specific:

  • Bookings
  • Plans
  • Desks & Offices
  • Passes

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This can be useful if you connect a tile to a meeting room and only want customers with a valid booking for that room to be able to check in.

Similarly, if the tile is on a private desk or office door, you can set up the tile so that only customers with a valid contract for the desk or office can unlock its door.

Geofencing

When geofencing is enabled, the tile can only be used if the customer reading it is near or within your space. You can define the center of that area along with its radius (how wide the circle around that center point is).

Geofencing helps you ensure customers are unable to trigger the action of the tile remotely. For example, you may not want customers to be able to unlock doors or check in while they aren't in your space by taking a picture of the tile and scanning its QR code.

  1. Go to Settings > Integrations > Automation Tiles and click on the automation tile you want to edit.
  2. Click the Restrictions tab and then click Enable geofencing.
  3. Enter the number of meters you want the radius to be. If you set the distance to 2 meters, customers will be able to use the tile up to 2 meters away from the tile. 
  4. Click Save changes.

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Restrictions tab of an automation tile page

Using Nexudus automation tiles with your own app

The tiles have a URL encoded in them. When a smartphone reads the NFC chip or the QR code, it launches the URL. You can register your app to handle that URL so the phone launches your app instead of just browsing the URL. There is a good article here about how to set that up in Android and iOS.

We already handle the generation of the apple-app-site-association and assetlinks.json files for the tiles domain. You can set your team and bundle IDs for iOS and Android in Settings > Apps > Passport

If the user doesn't have your app installed or you haven't registered for universal/deep links, the default browser will be launched and the user will be sent to the tile URL. This URL requires the user to log in their customer account. 

The URL encoded in the tile always includes the unique ID of the tile. You need that ID to make a request to the Nexudus API and trigger the action for the tile. The URL typically look like this:

https://spaces.nexudus.com/tiles/0A2FCD29-BD20-49ED-B107-B71B42DF53BA

0A2FCD29-BD20-49ED-B107-B71B42DF53BA is the unique key ID in this case.

Once you have obtained the tile ID, you can use it to make a request to execute the action of the tile. You do this by calling the following API endpoint.

You need a Bearer token for the user that is executing the tile. You do this by calling:

POST https://spaces.nexudus.com/api/token
grant_type:password
username:email@example.com
password:Password!
POST http://yourspace_nexudus_domain/api/tiles/execute/0A2FCD29-BD20-49ED-B107-B71B42DF53BA
Authorization Bearer 9qxHKEp3n_DMS-....

You get a response like this:

{
"tileName": "Unlock Front Door",
"result": {
"Status": 200,
"Message": "OK",
"WasSuccessful": true
}
}

If the tile has geofenced enabled, you need to provide three additional parameters: latitude and longitude with the location of the customer and signature which ensures the requests was issued by your app.

The signature is calculated by computing the SHA256 hash of the following string:

{tileid}|{latitued}|{longitude}|{secret}

The request in this case would look something like this:

POST https://yourspace_nexudus_domain/api/tiles/execute/0A2FCD29-BD20-49ED-B107-B71B42DF53BA
?latitude=48.4145193&
longitude=-0.8292802&
signature=a34e3336f1671f9373db679658239bf92433d50ead4bd581ac3543f54ae1cc63
Authorization Bearer 9qxHKEp3n_DMS-....

You can configure the shared secret for each of your locations via Settings > Apps > Passport App. Make sure you keep this secret protected. If you are using React Native to develop your own app, this is a good read to ensure you protect it adequately.

 

 

 

 

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