How can I connect LocalbyFlywheel site to tablets used at a tradeshow?

Does anyone know of a way to get a tablet to access a localhosted website (on laptop)? —>Looking at a tradeshow environment where we create an “intranet” (closed network) using a laptop to house the website (using LocalbyFlywheel) and with a travel router/wifi to get 3-4 tablets to connect and pull up that localhosted site. IDEAS?

Will LocalbyFlywheel allow a connection via the travel router/wifi? How can I can I make that connection?

Sherri :slight_smile:

Hey @SherriGD

Local doesn’t do this out of the box, so there isn’t an easy way to do this. There are a few possible ways of going about this:

  1. Use Live Links. This will work for a little while, but at a trade show with lots of traffic, you might reach the limit to the number of connections that are allowed by NGROK, which is the service that we use to allow for these links to be used.

  2. You might look into something like which might do what you need it to, but also might not since it’s geared more towards developing and synchronizing events across devices.

  3. Finally, you might try Googling for something like virtualbox expose vm to network. I’ve never done this, but in theory you could stop Local, open VirtualBox and add another virtual, Bridged network. Once Local has started again, you would need to find what the IP address is, and then update the Hosts file for any client tablet that you want to be able to connect to the Local VM

All that’s to say that it may be a bit of a hassle. Can you describe in a little more detail why you want to do this? Is this for marketing purposes and you want to collect emails? If so, you might want to have the site actually hosted somewhere to collect those things.

Thanks for your response!

The purpose is to be able to have a website working like an app so that visitors in the booth can engage with an interactive website and not show the browser frame.

We were thinking, let’s create a website just for tradeshows and not have to rely on the tradeshow wifi, which is unreliable. So we need a way to connect the tablets to the website (hence laptop using LocalbyFlywheel)… and we bypass the tradeshow wifi.

Chrome has a way to create an app with any website… it’s the shortcut tool. And we were thinking that would be a great way to make use of the app feature and somehow connect to a local install of the site so you can jump between pages of the site. And ultimately, when the tablet is left idle, it’ll revert back to the main page of the site after a certain amount of time.

I hope that gives a better idea of what we’re trying to do here in a simple way… as in without having to spend a bunch of money hiring a developer to create a full app.

Sherri :slight_smile:

Thanks for clarifying @SherriGD, that does help a bit in terms of what’s trying to be done.

My gut reaction is that this sort of setup probably won’t work, or if you are able to get it working, it may be unreliable.

The main reason for this is that in order for the mobile devices to connect to the Local Virtual Machine, they will have to be on the same network. Since you are already having reservations about using the Wifi network at the convention, that may pose some problems.

There might be a way to monkey around with the networking settings within VirtualBox such that it can connect to an adhoc network, but if you’re going that route, you’re likely paying an IT person just as much money as a developer to help manage that functionality while at the event.

Maybe the best thing would be to explore using a mobile wifi hotspot. Doing that may be expensive, but at least if the convention center’s WiFi is flaky, then you have a fallback to something that might get you through.