I have a real-world use case I’m working towards, and would like some help with setting out on the right foot.
TL;DR - I need a reliable method of unlocking both the Librem 5 and the Librem 11 very frequently; every few minutes or so over several hours at a time. Security requirement is relatively low.
I have a Librem 5 to experiment with, and my skill level is mediocre - you could say experienced and fairly capable, but not a programmer by any stretch of the imagination.
The use case is a small mobile business inspecting and servicing equipment. We currently use Apple, with a FileMaker solution which we custom made for this purpose about a decade ago running on iPads. The Filemaker solution was light years ahead of its time, has been excellently maintained, and we are still running Ok on it, but is showing its age a little now and will soon be a no-go for reasons I won’t expound on here. I’m trying to stay ahead of the curve and get moving toward a replacement system before we really need it, and the dream I would love to pursue is Linux based, preferably Debian. (Off-topic suggestions welcome for low-code systems compatible with Debian/PureOS…!)
Part of the routine of servicing and inspections and general business involves referring to a database for technical information, and working through check-sheets, etc. This involves (very) frequently unlocking the device. Battery life is still vital though, so leaving the screen unlocked is not really an option, and poking in a passcode has driven me crazy in years gone by. Apple’s Face ID is currently saving us thousands of dollars in time saved not mucking around with passcodes, especially with work gloves on which make touch screens more difficult.
The best idea I have come across so far is the concept of using BlueProximity software with a Bluetooth keychain finder or similar device for unlock, and a short delay for automatically re-locking the screen. Again, this is not a high-security scenario, but simply needs to be a reasonable balance of reliability, convenience and security, so we can get work done in the real world with a low risk of being taken advantage of by bad actors or opportunists.
I have watched Purism’s development for years, and was really hoping both the Librem 5 and the new Librem 11 would have NFC hardware for this reason, but ‘tis not to be. This lock / unlock problem is really the first big hurdle for me to conceive of actually integrating PureOS into our daily business use. There are many more challenges to actually realising full replacement of Apple and Windows for us, but it is definitely and reasonably achievable.
Sorry that’s a little long!
- Have you used a Bluetooth proximity unlock system with PureOS, or the Librem 5 specifically?
- Do you have any better or alternative unlock suggestions for this use case?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.