Calling all community members: New SmartApp Ideas

First of all, presence sensors are quite flimsy. It would not survive a single day attached to the dog’s collar. Second, presence sensors are known to give false alarms when RF signal is weak. Do you really want to be woken up at 3 am for no reason? And third, anything that involves time scheduling (e.g. “alert me in xx minutes”) is very unreliable and may or may not work depending on planetary alignment, which way the wind blows and some other factors. Just a food for thought :smile:


Hey all, first post! I’ve tried using presence sensors to open my garage door when I get home, and I got very tired of sitting in front of the door and waiting. Decided to go back to my phone as the trigger, but the problem is I have two garages doors and two drivers. We usually take one car when we go out, so I need a way to keep my garage door from opening when I get home in the other car.

So, is anyone able to write a smartapp that will only open the garage door when my phone gets in range if the presence sensor in my car isn’t detected?


This is worth attempting to do with SmartRules (iOS store) or Simple Rule Builder Web.

While those engines have some drawbacks over a single customized SmartApp, if it solves this problem, you’ll be addicted!

But Big Warning…!

The challenge to keep in mind, is that presence detection in SmartThings is among the least reliable of all functionality. Some folks have been lucky, and if you have observed presence working OK for you, then… go for it.

I ended up extending my Zigbee network range by adding a powered v1 motion sensor in the garage. That cut down my wait time from ~30 seconds to ~5. It also added security since I could alert on unexpected motion in the garage.

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I have an outlet in the garage, I would still have to take my top down on the car and hold the presence sensor up. But, it is fine once it is in there. I have it set to wait 10 minutes before it senses something is gone, so if the sensor is actually there, it registers as there. I’ll look into that first suggestion, thanks!

Here is smart app request that I haven’t seen done. The SmartThings Virtual Thermostat is a great start but doesn’t account for controlling multiple stages of a ceiling fan speed for Low, Medium, High. This is the setup. The GE 12730 Z-Wave Smart Fan Control for the hardware and @ChadCK Z-Wave Smart Fan Control Custom Device Type for the device type (super intuitive interface).

The app should function basically like this:
It uses an adjustable temperature setpoint and adjustable temperature differential. If the setpoint for cooling is 70 and room temperature is increasing it triggers Low speed ON (Medium and High is OFF) when temperature is >= 70. If room temperature continues to increase above the adjustable temperature differential say 2 degrees then it will trigger the next stage of cooling. So in this scenario if room temperature is >= 72 the Medium speed is triggered ON (Low and High speed is OFF) and if room temperature is >=74 then High speed is triggered (Low and Medium speed is off). The reverse happens on decreasing temp.

I don’t know how a smartapp displays as a thing tile but from a user interface it would be ideal if this modified virtual thermostat app could be displayed in the Things as if it was a real thermostat device like @StrykerSKS ecobee displaying the current temperature and setpoint along with up and down arrows for adjusting the setpoint.

I am not a developer but I am tempted to learn the code to modify Virtual Thermostat for my needs. I am trying to find “Groovy for dummies that’s you Dale” book :wink:

UPDATE: The challenge was never taken up so I ended up doing it myself as a first time project.
I ended up writing a smartapp to control my ceiling fan. I am calling it 3 Speed Ceiling Fan Thermostat and is specifically designed to work with a GE Smart Fan Control device.

Hi @dalec,

To give you some context here, a SmartApp doesn’t really display as a Thing. A Thing is really just a visualization of data points (attributes) and actions that can be taken (commands). A SmartApp can serve a few roles such as providing some custom logic around a Thing (or many things working together) or it can also act as a “Service Manager” to get data from non-native devices (web APIs).

What you are asking for is possible to pull together, but there are some things that would take some caution when putting it together. If I understand the setup you are suggesting, there would be two separate physical devices:

  • A temperature sensor in the room
  • A Fan controller of some kind

I assume that you still want these two devices (or at least the temperature sensor) to still be available as a standalone device. So if we take that same data and present it through this virtual thermostat “Thing” then the temperature reading in that virtual thing would now become visible as another temperature reading. There are some ways around this such as not exposing the Capabilities but that has other drawbacks.

Also, since I mentioned capabilities, keep in mind that a “Thermostat” per capabilities has only two setpoints: Heating and Cooling. There is no concept of High, Medium and Low thresholds in the standard capabilities. Not a big deal since we don’t have to use the standard thermostat capabilities, we can always create our model that fits the need. Just pointing that out since you specifically call out Thermostats here.

From an implementation perspective, I don’t think this would be that hard though. In the Setup portion of the SmartApp it would just need to have the user select the Fan Controller and one or more temperature devices (would likely start with one for simplicity, but I could imagine some people would want more than one and then maybe use an average or other more complex rules). Then the SmartApp would simply subscribe to events from the temperature device(s) and then take actions on the fan controllers. I’d also probably do this as a Parent SmartApp with ChildSmart apps for each fan perhaps. That would cover the rules on the SmartApp side. And this could really be the end of it… but if all you wanted was the SmartApp logic it could all be done with Rule Machine I suspect, so no real need to build anything new.

Now if you really want the Tile to have the controls like in a Thermostat Tile, then you’d just need to pass values (attributes) to the Tile for display, and hook up the action buttons to functions in the SmartApp that would adjust the values stored for the algorithms.

All that being said, how critical is it really to have the Tile? As much as I love my Ecobee Tile. I really only use it for testing and development. Once everything is setup most actions will be taken via the SmartApp.

Interesting ideas here for sure though!

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Thanks for reply and explanation. :slight_smile: Yes you got the nail on the head. It is two separate devices, a temperature sensor and the fan speed controller. You are also correct that Rule Machine works great with this control scheme. The downside to Rule Machine though is when I need to make a 1 degree setpoint change say from 70 to 71 it is pretty clumsy because I have to open up all three rules and make multiple changes of 1 degree in each rule.

Just to be clear, it is only one fan speed controller on a single ceiling fan that we are talking about and the ceiling fan has three speeds. The current device types treat the fan controller sort of like a light dimmer with a range of 1-99 settings.

In my mind I was thinking if the current Virtual Thermostat smart app was modified to be able to provide a single heating and cooling setpoint like it is now however instead of controlling a single switch output it have the added capability for controlling two more switch outputs as the temperature increases

It really isn’t critical at all to have the Tile control like a Thermostat Tile but I thought it would be the easiest interface for changing a setpoint up or down by pushing the arrows.

BTW: excellent work on your ecobee3 device type.

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If someone wants to buy me a Fan Controller I could use it for testing to build the app ;o)

It would be really great if we could get the new version of the Fibaro motion sensors working. People are getting these in and then have to collect dust because they arent working. I myself would like to get a couple more but am afraid to pull the trigger for fear they wont work.

Guys, I need help, small smartapp will do. I am ready to monitor a status of my stove. I have two temperature sensors-
one in the room (Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensor), another one is on the stove (Fibaro Door/Window Sensor coupled with DS18B20 Temperature Probe). When temperature difference exceeds a few degrees F (i need to choose this number in smartapp), then signal should turn-on my Aeon Smart Energy Switch red lamp or just a strobe of my Fortrezz Siren to inform residents that stove is warm and could be still On. So, nobody leaves the house without checking on it.
Thanks, any help is apriciated. I just started to play with ST a couple month ago, still learning, having a lot of fun.

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Forgot to mention, that switch or strobe should get turn-off back when temperature difference falls back to that chosen number or below. Cheers.

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You can do this using “Custom” rules in SmartHome Monitor. :slight_smile:

I’ve been looking for an integrated wake up alarm. I don’t have a daily routine, it changes every day because of the silly hours I work from a 7am start to a 1pm start if I had a night shift. So an alarm that I could set in smart things that would then trigger Goodmorning, pre heat of the house (turn on alarm time -60mins), and a few other things would be awesome.

So before bed I would reset said alarm and the system would take care of the rest. Just setting everything for a time isn’t working for me at the moment.

Tried ifttt nothing quite fits the scope I’m after.


This is what I wrote for my stove. I don’t have it trigger a siren or anything. Give it a try, if it works I can add a bit of code so you can trigger a siren, or lamp. Remember though, none of this code is certified to save lives, so use it at your own risk.

I can not. I need to operate with difference of 2 separate temperatures, not with 2 just absolute temperatures.

I can not. I need to operate with difference of 2 separate temperatures, not with 2 just absolute temperatures

unfortunately room T is not a constant and varies thru the day, especially with season change. Thus, it can not be typed in to “Custom” rules in SmartHome Monitor.

Thanks, will try it.

Here’s my solution. I set up an alarm in Amazo Echo. It triggers an IFTTT rule. From there, you can trigger pretty much anything you want, including SmartThings routines. :sunglasses: