Continuing the discussion from Smart Presence Sensor randomly "leaving" and "returning":
Battery life is fine on my presence fob, but I still get random drop-offs with both the fob and the phone presence.
Using an idea from @DigitalM0nkey , I am changing over the way I use presence sensing for all activities. I’m now using dual devices at the geo-fence barrier, as well as a virtual presence sensor for better continuous occupancy indication.
Basically I’m trying both reduce the range and improve reliability by using two devices that will be recognized in sequence rather than both at the same time.
So this is how it will work at my house now:
Smartthings recognizes that my phone or the fob, mainly the fob , has entered the Geo fenced area. but nothing else happens yet. I do not trigger any events just because of this presence indicator.
A physical detector, either an open close sensor on the gate, or a pressure Mat, or a motion sensor gets tripped. This demonstrates that someone has entered the specific physical zone that I am using as a trigger area. But the physical detector itself does not know who it was.
A smartapp/hello home action that subscribes to the event in 2) above runs because of the Geo presence in 1) above and because the mode is still “away” and does whatever I want done at that moment (like turn on the porch light and unlock the door", and changes the mode to “JD arriving” (or whoever, specific to the person associated with the presence sensor in 1)
A second physical detector inside the house now runs because the mode is “JD arriving” and turns on a virtual presence indicator, which I am using as an occupancy indicator, and changes the mode to the more general “home.”
When I leave we do everything in reverse, approximately, the sequence is a little different but still using a transitional mode and physical devices combined with the geo-fence devices.
The result is that even if the fob drops off the network temporarily and activity shows it as coming and going, the occupancy indicator, which is the virtual presence sensor, does not get changed unless we have the combination of the physical sensor and the geofence indicator and the appropriate previous mode. Just the geo-fence presence indicator thinking I left or returned doesn’t trigger anything. It has to be combined with the correct physical sensors and the correct mode.
The other good news is that someone else just opening the gate or stepping on the welcome mat is not going to trigger the arriving home activities.
But this involves one virtual presence indicator, multiple physical sensors, and a geofence device. And getting it set up just right is tricky.
Still, it gives me real Geo fencing and is something that is not available with some of the competitors.
It also allows me to use a trigger zone which is much much smaller than the actual geo-fence. The trigger zone is bounded by the physical sensors.
And once it’s set up, it all works automatically, just the way you want geolocation to work.
Note that this is not a substitute for micro location if you have more than one person who lives in the house, because you can’t tell which of the people is in which room. Just that person A is home, person B is home, and someone tripped a particular sensor.
But for my purposes, which have to do with actually leaving the house, it should be solid and reliable. If a pain to set up.