Perfect Wall-mounted Tablet Integration

There’s a building downtown built about ten years ago that has tablet-sized LCD screens next to the entrance of each large meeting room. They’re never on and we always wonder why they didn’t just use one of those things that holds a sheet of printer paper to label what’s happening in the meeting space? Now this is a similar idea but with much better execution. Instead of just displaying data the in-wall tablet mount makes your room interactive.

[Tim’s] been working on it for a couple of years. He started out trying to house an iPod Touch behind a junction box cover plate. There are some pictures of that at the top of his build album. That didn’t quite take so keep scrolling to see the path to the finished product shown above. He cut a hole in the drywall and figured out how to mount a tablet dock that includes inductive charging. It holds the tablet in place with the small ledge and a few magnets, keeping its battery charged without a need for wires. Once tested he mudded, sanded, textured, and painted for a perfect finished product.

20 thoughts on “Perfect Wall-mounted Tablet Integration

  1. Great build! Is WebOS rootable like android? If so you could install an app/write a script to watch the charging state, so that when you snap it back to the wall it would immediately go to some predefined app like the exhibition view. When charging it could also constantly run a motion-detection algorithm on the forward-facing camera (power isnt an issue when charging, right?) to act like a motion detector, so it would automatically ‘wake-up’ when you walk by.

    Also, I’m a big fan of the 110% effort put in to make it almost invisible in the wall. Did you consider removing most of the lip and using primarily the magnets to hold it to the wall?

    1. Thank you! Since I live on the earthquake prone West Coast of the U.S., I opted to keep the lip. It has proven worthy when holding a toddler too, as they like to swat at the touchscreen ;) Magnets might be enough to hold it, but I would want to have a better solution for adhering the metal plates on the back (ideally placed inside the case).

      I was using WebOS for a while (since I really liked it) and the exhibition view was perfect for this use (I think I had a clock/weather combo running). I love the idea of the wake-up feature as I had seen this recently somewhere else.

  2. I like the idea of the Nexus pogo cable too, but I love the inductive charging and think every device should have it at this point in our lives. I was tempted to try and add inductive charging to my iPad to when I had it opened up recently, but I didn’t think the Palm Pre charging circuit people are getting off of eBay would supply enough power. So I just opted to stick a strip of steel above the iPad’s battery so it would hold to the wall with the magnets I had installed (only landscape orientation). I have yet to open the Touchpads, but when I do I might try to also hide the metal plates inside if possible.

    1. One of the frozen yogurt shops near me has an iPad in an aluminum frame as well. They use it for their customer loyalty program; punch in your mobile number (I use my Google Voice number) and after a few visits you get a text message with a coupon code.

    1. Inductive charging will not be affected by the magnets.
      The reason: Magnets have a stable magnetic field and coils are reacting to changing magnetic fields only.

    2. So far I haven’t had any problems with either the metal plates or the magnets when it comes to the inductive charging. It does get hot when it has to do a full charge, but the heat is easily dissipated due to the curved back allowing air to pass and the wall being cold.

  3. Inspiring solution. I work on an app for controlling European security systems via WiFi and have been looking for ways to swap over ugly manufacturer designed keypads for a nice sleek touch device. When looking at this previously, I was put off by all the standard charging being from the edge of the device – this made the connection less sleek. I hadn’t thought about wireless power until looking at your solution. I was just thinking that for me, it would be great to be able to fit the charging device behind a standard faceplate / cavity wall box. Then design a sleek neutral wall mount which would screw onto the standard wall box. This would then be a generic solution for installers, as although the plaster/make good of your solution is the most aesthetically pleasing, it would put many installers off due to the amount of work and issues with maintenance if something went wrong.

  4. I wanted to do this with my old Nexus10 tablet but battery totally dead, and unlike a laptop it doesn’t seem to run off USB power only. Tried a 5v3A AC adapter from my RaspPi and it seems to drain faster than it can charge. Kinda bummed. Nexus10 is old, but was such a great tablet.

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