App to open garage door when presence sensor (phone) approaches?

@coolcatiger I totally get it. We actually don’t keep our car inside the garage – that is taken up with our foosball table, kid’s train set, bikes, etc. – so it would just be to facilitate human entry in our case after the car is parked outside.

I have my garage automated. When I approach my garage with my motorcycle, I don’t have the remote on me, but only my phone. This is enough to open the door automatically and I roll right in.


  • Relay
  • Tilt sensor or multi sensor
  • Smart phone (iPhone in my case)

This is baked into the featured SmartThings offerings!

  1. Push the plus button at the bottom of the ST app.
  2. Under ‘Alerts’, press ‘Access and Entryways’
  3. press ‘Notify me when a door is opened’ to add a door.
  4. Add a door and be sure to select garage door.
  5. Select your tilt sensor (If you dont actually want to be notified, click NEXT > DONE, no other inputs are necessary, just the sensor)

In the main app now, you have a doors&locks section. Click that and then click the cog in the upper right.
Click the garage door that you created in the steps above. Then click ‘Open it when people arrive’

This should get you what you need.

Duh. Thanks @ethayer. I need to get more familiar with the app, but I’ll have to say it’s not super intuitive. Appreciate the help!

No problem! I had a tough time figuring this step out too. Those steps to add your first door are crazy confusing. After you add your first door though, adding more doors from the Doors & Locks section is much more intuitive.

-Happy automating

That won’t work when there are two garage doors for two cars. What if we are out in car #2, with car#1 in the garage. I normally drive car #1. So when we return in car #2, my presence from phone arrives, car #1 presence is there, door for #1 opens, which it shouldn’t.

I have the same problem too. When I’m out with my wife, the wrong door opens when we arrive home.

A simple solution would be to attach a dedicated sensor to the actual vehicle, not the specific person. Not sure if it’s worth the extra $60 or not. I just shut the erroneous opened door and move on with life.

I have two hubs, one in the garage and one in my home, so attaching the sensors to the garage hub would work perfectly for me. Might not with others.

I spent some time messing with “Ridiculously Automated Garage Door Opener” attempting a fix for this, but gave up. My idea was to use a larger geofence for my phone in hopes that the phone would arrive before anything else. Then the logic would be, if my phone arrives and my car is gone, open my garage door. That would stop the problem of the wrong door opening. But it turns out that presence arrival is so flaky that it is completely unreliable. I’ve decided that I don’t trust ST to automatically open any door. I do have it notify me if I’ve left and left a garage door open, so that I can close it remotely. But opening a door is just a bad idea with the current state of ST reliability. It can’t be 98% reliable, it has to be 100%. Otherwise, at some point, the house is opened when it shouldn’t be, and it’s completely obvious that the door is open from the street.

Sure it would. It would work like this. If car #2 arrives AND one of X,Y,Z presences is home open garage #2… If car #1 comes home and one of X,Y,Z presneces is home open garage #1. Super simple.

Yep, it would require the cars to have their own “presence”

I do have sensors in cars too, but it is not reliable at all. Too many false events. Some times I had to wait for a minute to open door…and my kids and wife used have big :stuck_out_tongue: and me :cold_sweat:

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Interesting… mine work pretty darn fast. Maybe your hub is far away from your garage?

yes, about 80 ft far.

i bet if you found a way to move it close it would work better. Mine is about 10 feet from my garage.

I wish I could, if i had Ethernet connection closer to it and also afraid that i will be away from most of my switches causing issues.

get a smartness motion sensor and plug it in? might help to have a zigbee node closer to the garage.

I have a similar problem. I have over 120 devices and moving the hub isn’t an option. However, I have a Zigbee repeater in the garage.

One problem I have is timing. Wife drives up, garage door hasn’t opened because ST hasn’t detected presence arrival yet. So she opens it with her garage door opener. While it’s opening, ST wakes up and notices presence arrival, and attempts to open the garage door (which is still opening). That causes it to close immediately. Wife instructs to quit trying to automate garage door, and rightly so. Telling her to wait for ST to open the door doesn’t work either, because sometimes it just doesn’t do anything. So how long is she supposed to sit there waiting for it?

Sometimes the presence in the car triggers ST when the car is 50 feet from garage door, which is good. Sometimes it senses the presence after she has pulled into the garage. There is no reliability AT ALL. Same is true for iPhone presence detection. Sometimes it is detected when she’s 1/2 a block away, just entering the geofence; sometimes it is detected after she is in the garage. No way for that to work either.

All of this for what? To not press the garage door opener as we’ve all done for many years?

I’ve learned that keeping wifi on is a must. my iPhone presence detection works at the very outside of the geofence without fail every day.

But the second i turn wifi off it all goes crazy.

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That’s good, but brings back my original problem – which garage door to open? Can’t determine that from iPhone presence. And, my experience with iPhone presence and geofence crossing is spotty at best.

How many times a week do you experience say, a 10 second lag in ST doing something it’s supposed to do? I’d say that’s pretty much a daily event. If that 10 seconds coincides with presence arrival, it’s too late.

The overall reliability of presence sensors is quite high. That is, it almost always correctly determines that a presence sensor has arrived. It’s just that the timing is highly variable.

At the end that is what I realized. Our brains are much smarter to trigger our finger to push button in car to open garage door!!! And it is very efficient and it works always. So I switched back to my own smart brain to make decision to open garage or not. :sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses:

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Ah yes, the ultimate SMART THING.

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