Be alerted about inactivity after motion already detected and triggered?

I am currently videotaping my mom walking to the bathroom (triggered by Arlo camera motion) when she wakes up in the middle of the night with the need to go. I would like to be alerted if she does not come out of the bathroom (i,e, no new motion detected) within a certain period of time (let’s say 5 minutes).
I have two devices that could test for motion

  • Arlo camera (only on in evenings when my mom is supposed to be asleep) and
  • Smartthings motion sensor (always on).
    How do I test for the lack of motion activity shortly after there was a triggered motion event???

I emailed Stringify support on 5/1 and tried their support forum 8 days ago and no reply from either source so I am attempting to find a solution here…

Which version of the app are you using, smart things classic or “smartthings (Samsung connect)”?

If you are using classic, it’s pretty simple. Use the official smart lighting feature. Turn on a virtual switch when motion is detected by the smartthings motion sensor. Turn the virtual switch off after period of inactivity. Have that switch turning off be the trigger for your notification.

I don’t know if it can be done With the new app or not. The rules engine is different.

I’m not feeling well today, but other people should be able to help walk you through this.

The principle is similar to setting a virtual timer for light:

There are these options for monitoring elderly in the marketplace smart apps.

Thanks @JDRoberts, you always seem to come through with a response worth trying and mostly have it work. I hope you feel better.

Yes, I am using Classic and will try your suggestion. I did the preliminary setup and am not convinced as I have been trying multiple solutions and seem to hit a brick wall with the logic at every attempt.

In your reply…

Have that switch turning off be the trigger for your notification.

I hope I am missing something…
I see how this will cover the five-minute period if she has not come out of the bathroom during the specified time (assume 5 minutes). If she does come out in time, does this automatically reset the virtual switch to ON?

Let’s continue the scenario…

So now that she comes out of bathroom triggers the motion (within the 5 minutes) and goes back to her bed to sleep (a legitimate reason for inactivity). How do I stop from being notified 5 minutes later?

Or let’s say the motion catches her get up (she decides to stretch and not go to the bathroom) and then goes right back to sleep; I will most undoubtedly get notified then.

Maybe I can still use Smartthings (instead of something like Stringify) but my intent was to:

1: conditionally test for inactivity
2: force Arlo (or camera) to record when inactivity is reported (based upon variable)
3: receive alert about inactivity

This would then allow me to manually check the video feed to see if she is indeed in bed (which means everything is ok) and/or if I can’t see her then call out for some help.

FYI, this might be perfect if Stringify recognized a Smartthings virtual switch but unfortunately it does not.

Yeah, i’m tired; what I suggested isn’t going to work for your use case.

The two smartapps that @TN_Oldman get around this by checking at a different part in the cycle. One checks to make sure that a particular door/cabinet has been opened within a set period, which is good for making sure that someone did get out of bed each day but doesn’t really fit your use case.

The other one is very specifically checking movement back into a zone, typically the bed, and I’m not sure that’s going to fit yours either.

To use stacked conditionals of the kind that you are suggesting, you probably need to use webcore.

@JDRoberts, while I appreciate the apps suggested by @TN_Oldman, I did give one a go and did not feel secure it was going to meet my needs.

I was looking at WebCoRE earlier today and also hope to find a solution there. As I too am tired (and in pain from a herniated disc) I just couldn’t focus enough to figure out how to download or gain access. Maybe I’ll have better luck tomorrow.

BTW, as mentioned above, if Stringify could recognize a Smartthings virtual switch I would then have used it to both capture video on the Arlo (without needing motion) and send me an alert at the same time. It would have been ideal.

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It appears that the fact that virtual switches identify as multiple classes of devices is what confuses Stringify, but there are some people who are able to get it set up successfully. You may need to talk to support at Stringify, or start a new thread here with Stringify in the title.

@JDRoberts thanks again! FYI, you are probably one of the main reasons I stuck through all the growing pains of IoT as you have always been there for support or a point in the right direction. All the best to you…


Yeah, I wasn’t sure if those would work.

If you do get Webcore working. I can share a piston I use to count the motion events of my mother in law at her house.

It sends us a notification twice a day with a numeric count or the number of motion events the selected sensors saw. Also when the last motion event was on each sensor.

I’m sure Webcore will be able to do what you want. It’s very versatile and powerful.


OH HAPPY DAY! @JDRoberts @TN_Oldman after the suggestion of using a virtual switch I had merely assumed it would not work with Stringify (because it hadn’t for me in the past), but apparently that feature now works (at least a Smartthings virtual switch triggering other events in Stringify.

Thanks for getting my juices flowing and for having me give Stringify another shot… There will be a lot I can do now!


Glad you got it to do what you wanted.

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