Detecting multiple presence detectors (phones) away

Like many people, trying to replace Life360 thanks to the changes. I have a routine that detects each individual phone is away and they toggle individual virtual switches successfully (so I can see the state of the presence of each phone). However, I am having an impossible time with a routine that detects when ALL devices are away, I never see that fire. I tried to base it first off of location (like the individual away routines that I mentioned previously but with all devices), and then I tried to base if off of ALL of the virtual switches, but it still doesn’t seem to trigger. Any one been able to do this successfully? I think the same problem occurs when I try and detect if ANY device switches to home.


I’m using virtual presence sensors created with the vEdge Creator driver from @TAustin. I’ve built routines that change those devices state based on whatever presence mechanism I chose (the phone and ST or Alexa). The routines I’ve built using the virtual presence work great when the underlying detection method works. However, it’s the underlying method(s) that have been unreliable. For both my Android phone and my GF’s iOS phone, the phone as a presence sensor for ST App has been woefully unreliable. Typically, my GF can “leave”, but never come home. Mine has been hit and miss in both directions. I recently switched my phone to using an Alexa routine to turn on/off the virtual presence based on my phone and that has been reliable so far. Haven’t had luck with having the GF’s phone triggering the virtual presence sensors via Alexa using her phone yet. I have to revisit how I set up the routines to be sure the logic is correct, but it’s not clear to me if you can have multiple ST->Alexa skill connections for a single ST account (and to be fair I set it up the night before I left town for a biz trip and haven’t had time to do reasonable amounts of testing).

At this point, I’d say the issue is finding a reliable underlying presence mechanism that is the challenge. Life360, while sometimes delayed by the Cloud->Cloud integration, was generally very reliable. There seem to be few options at this point and none of them at least 99.9% reliable.

Thanks Bruce. So far it seems like SmartThings presence detection is working fine (as seen from the individual virtual switches that are toggled when a device is home or away). I had to toggle a few settings in Android and iOS I think, but it is working much better than it used to. Now the challenge is having a routine that fires when ANY or ALL devices are home/away reliably.

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Maybe give us some screenshots or pseudo-code of your routines that might help us give you some guidance.

Your problem may be caused by the fact that the 2 presence sensors change states at different times, so the ALL never happens.

You might need 2 routines:

1st routine: IF - GF away as precondition, YOU leaving as trigger. THEN run action.

2nd routine: IF - YOU away as precondition, GF leaving as trigger. THEN run action.

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Ah ok! Yes will try this, thanks Paul!

Looks like you can’t do set location of one device as a precondition for the location of another device, but I can do this with the virtual switches. Will try this tonight, but it seems to me that this is a pretty over complicated solution, but hey, if it works.

Although, I still don’t understand why the below doesn’t work. It did not fire when we both left home together tonight.

Update: This workaround appears to have worked. It is a bit ugly having a total of 4 routines in order to detect whether we are have left or arrived for the two of us, but hey, at least it is now working!