Alternative Presence Sensor Ideas

HI, I’ve been a ST user for a few years now and so had some of the early Samsung presence sensors that use the CR2032 button battery. Apart from consuming batteries like sweets, they have one by one stopped working. Problem is for my partners house, her phone is a very old Samsung phone that will just not allow it to be added to the devices, even ST support couldn’t fix it. So now the presence sensor she was using appears to have failed I am stuck for a device that will allow the SHM to be set and un-set automatically based on presence. Only option seems to be an expensive one to replace the Samsung phone which Id rather avoid at this point. So I am hoping that the community might have some clever ideas or suggestions or other zigbee or zwave presence sensors /keyfobs I could use . Does anyone have any sensible and constructive ideas please? Many thanks… Andy

See the community FAQ:

FAQ: The Many Ways of Detecting Presence

Just be aware that presence works somewhat differently in the new V3 app than it did in the V2 classic app.

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The typical methods of detecting ‘presence’ are as follows.

  1. A dedicated device like the Smartthings Presence fob
  2. Monitoring a phone location which uses GPS
  3. iBeacons again monitoring phones but via local Bluetooth
  4. This device - which uses an optical sensor to count people in and out. It can be used for individual rooms but also entrances and exits.

You could use some of these alternative approaches with virtual switches setup in Smartthings.

As an example the Nest Manager for Smartthings includes using the Nest location tracking which uses your phones GPS location. (I have given up on the Nest Manager it is completely unreliable these days which is probably down to Google.)

Thank you for the replies. After reading the thread JD sent I choose to use IFTTT. This appears to work well although still testing. For anyone wanting to try this is what you need to do.

  1. Using the mobile app (Classic) install a smartapp call virtual device creator
    In the Classic app, select automation (at bottom of screen, select smartapps at top of screen
    Press + at bottom to Add a SmartApp. Scroll down and select + More , scroll to bottom and select Virtual Device Creator. (VDC)
    In VDC leave as virtual switch, select hub if not already selected, and enter a device name , I Used VPresence switch
    click save

  2. Now login into or register if already a user.
    Use the search (top left of screen) to find the Smartthings and Location services and click connect to connect each service. You will need your Smartthings login details and then click authorise to allow IFTTT to access the ST devices. At a minimum select the virtual presence switch we created earlier. Once you are connected to both services you need to create two applets, one to arrive (enter) the location around your property and one to depart (exit ) your property. To do this

From your profile icon top left of screen click create on the drop down menu . click on the grey THIS word and type in location in the search bar. Click in the blue location box. Select the blue box “you enter an area” and then enter in your location. You can type in the address, remember to use postcode and UK at the end, once done click create trigger at the bottom of the screen. Click on the grey THAT

Type in Smartthings in the search bar and select the Switch Off applet and then select from the list the VPresence Switch. if it doesn’t appear in the list you didn’t authorise it correctly when you connected to the Smartthings service earlier so go back and redo that step and select the right devices to authorise.

Click save and then finish to create the applet.

You need to repeat this but this time select When you exit an Area in the location options and the Switch On in the Smartthings options . So you should end up with the following

An applet that is called If you enter an area then switch off vpresence switch (or what you named it)

An applet that is called if you exit an area then switch on vpresence switch (or what you named it)

  1. Install the IFTTT app on your mobile phone and ensure you allow it to use your phones locations services.

After I had tested mine I switched off the IFTTT notifications as I get ones from ST so I don’t need multiple when it triggers.

At this point just check in the ST mobile app that IFTTT is list under the smartapps section in automation. Selecting it allows you to check the authorised devices in so you can update and add more if you use other IFTTT services/applets.

Final step is to edit your goodbye and I’m Back routines to run automatically when the Vpresence switch turns on or off. Do this from within the ST mobile app.

Now go test and hopefully it should work. If it doesn’t via IFTTT edit the applet and check you have set the location correctly and sized the area to the right size for your location.

You can test from the ST app by manually turning on the Vpresence switch and making sure the routines run, but mainly its a walk or drive up the road to test correctly.

Hopefully this will work for you as it did for me… best of luck… Andy

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