SmartThings Community

Alternatives to the Samsung Arrival Sensor?


#1

I’ve been using the Samsung ST Arrival Sensor in my son’s backpack to get a notification when he’s arrived home from school, but it’s been working very unreliably. It will work for a week then just stop. I’ll need to remove the the device from the ST network and re-add it again to get it working. I’ve also replaced the batteries in the device, and have sent it back for a replacement. Same issues with sporadic functionality. If I hold the device inches away from the ST hub it still won’t register as arrived.

Are there other alternatives available? Maybe a Z-Wave based device? He doesn’t take his iPhone to school so I can’t use that method. Suggestions are appreciated!

Thanks.


#2

Zwave doesn’t have The same check in structure that zigbee does, so it’s not typically used for presence sensors. There was one zwave presence device announced about two years ago but I don’t think it ever came to market.

There are some other options. Most of them are phone-based, but it is possible to also use an IBeacon. That’s what I use at my own house because I wanted a very small detection area, limited to the wheelchair ramp at my front door.

The presence FAQ discusses multiple methods:


(Mark) #3

Is your hub very close to your wifi router?


#4

It was close initially, but I moved it about 10 ft away.


#5

Thanks for the info. I never heard of ibeacon. I’ll need to check it out.


(David Hamilton) #6

If you have keypad door locks you could have him use his own keycode and use that as a check in to trigger notifications form webcore or however you need. Lock manager will set user code notification usage by default.


#7

That’s actually a very good suggestion in my case, since we do have a Z-Wave keypad. Thanks!


(Steve ) #8

I’ve doing exactly the same as you I’ve set up a WebCore piston to alert us when my son’s home from school.
But like you say they are hit and miss it can go days without any problems and then change every hour :frowning:
I’ve ended up putting a restriction on the piston to half hour each way of when I know my son’s due home.


#9

I wish there was a way to have the ST Hub determine presence by whether a smartphone is connected or not connected to my home’s WiFi network. I’ve read a few postings where people have done this, but they are installing scripts that are running on certain WiFi routers and I don’t have that option with my Nighthawk router.


(Steve ) #10

You could probably do that using tasker.
I do exactly similar with tasker to turn my WiFi and adjust my phones volume levels automatically when I get to work and when I get home.
So maybe link that to a virtual switch within SmartThings ?


#11

Yes, I probably could use Tasker on my Android phone, but my son and wife use iPhones. :frowning:


(Don) #12

Plus an Iphone will disconnect from the wifi when it goes to sleep. I was using a routine on a tablet to ping phones in my house to detect presence.
My android would stay connected but the Iphones would drop off, then reconnect when they started using it.


(PPO16) #13

ST offers only:

  • geo-fence based on mobiles and to be honest, recently they fail big time, whatever Android or IPhone.
  • arrival sensors you also concluded are not reliable. I guess they should rename them stay sensor rather than arrival as they fairly work when they stay in your hub area, good battery life. But if you happen to spend 8 hours outside a day, the autonomy just get ruined in few weeks and the detection is anyway inaccurate.

So I would rather go for a wifi device of any type and an IFTTT associated setup that pings an event when it connects to your wifi network, It will additionally have larger range than your arrival sensor.

Or this :wink:


#14

So I would rather go for a wifi device of any type and an IFTTT associated setup that pings an event when it connects to your wifi network, It will additionally have larger range than your arrival sensor.

Hmm, that’s an interesting idea. What if I write a script that runs on my iMac (which is always turned on at home) that pings certain fixed ip addresses to determine if they are connected to my home WiFi network. Based on the response, the script would flip a virtual presence switch in the cloud for the ST hub. There’s a lot of things to work out to make this work (i.e., how to control a virtual switch from a script on my iMac), but maybe I can get this working.

Alternatively, it might be possible to do this with a Raspberry Pi WiFi-enabled board and some coding.


#15

All the options you’ve mentioned are discussed in the presence FAQ thread linked to upthread in post 2. :sunglasses:

You can also use the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki and look in the project reports for the list for “presence” to see what other people have done.

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section


#16

The thread you linked to is two years old. You can find more up-to-date information in the presence FAQ.


#17

Hmm, that’s an interesting idea. What if I write a script that runs on my iMac (which is always turned on at home) that pings certain fixed ip addresses to determine if they are connected to my home WiFi network.

Ok, I just tested this idea on my iMac by running the terminal command “arp -a” which gives a list of connected devices to my WiFi network. The output is IP addresses and MAC addresses, however, I noticed that only currently connected devices show up in the list. For example, my Android tablet and Android LG G6 smartphone do not show as connected if they are sitting idle on my desk. I have to run the email app or a browser on those devices before they show up as connected to the WiFi network. I’m afraid that’s not a very practical solution for presence detection.


(Robin) #18

Have you considered Nest cameras with facial recognition?


(PPO16) #19

Yes they might release the connection but you should see a periodic connection and this seems more frequent than the refresh period of an arrival sensor.

I had a try with my Android phone. You can see that not every arp-scan (install it via sudo apt-get install arp-scan)

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo arp-scan --interface=wlan0 --localnet | grep "48:5a"
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo arp-scan --interface=wlan0 --localnet | grep "48:5a"
192.168.1.83 48:5a:3f:FF:FF:FF (Unknown)
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo arp-scan --interface=wlan0 --localnet | grep "48:5a"
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo arp-scan --interface=wlan0 --localnet | grep "48:5a"
192.168.1.83 48:5a:3f:FF:FF:FF (Unknown)
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo arp-scan --interface=wlan0 --localnet | grep "48:5a"
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo arp-scan --interface=wlan0 --localnet | grep "48:5a"
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo arp-scan --interface=wlan0 --localnet | grep "48:5a"
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo arp-scan --interface=wlan0 --localnet | grep "48:5a"
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo arp-scan --interface=wlan0 --localnet | grep "48:5a"
192.168.1.83 48:5a:3f:FF:FF:FF (Unknown)

So you might still have fair results with that mechanism.


(Mark) #20

Don’t the arrival sensors ping every 30 seconds whether or not they’re in range of the hub?