Door auto-unlock when I arrive home

How can I have my home door auto unlock when I arrive home? The native presence sensor using my android smart phone is completely unreliable, sometimes activating 2 hours after I arrive home even though I used GPS and maps on my drive home. Other times it will show me home, even when I am at work.

The presence sensor sold by smartthings has terrible reviews so that appears to not work either?

Bluetooth should be good but it seems as if smartthings did not activate that for some reason.

Wifi network detection may work, but I don’t have wifi on when I drive home since then it keeps trying to connect the optimum wifi access points in my area and that just slows the phone down so I need to have wifi off when driving.

So before I spend over $200 on a smart lock I am wondering if this is possible?


To add to @jkp post here is the direct link so you don’t have to login to community link.

And yes it’s very possible. I’m doing it as are 1000s of others. Obviously having a reliable presence device working reliably helps. There has been an issue with a lot of folks in the community and mobile presence with ST functionality out of the box. Others have found Life 360 to work better and others have also stated that it doesn’t work either. WebCoRE uses something outside of ST and I have it installed along side my ST mobile presence (both work for me, but WebCoRE seems to be slightly quicker to react).

There’s always the ST Arrival sensor (read the thread many ways of detecting presence above) that simply uses Zigbee and when you are within range of the house / hub / repeater you can do the same thing with Automations (Routines or webCoRE Pistons) to unlock doors. For some (myself included) the Arrival Sensors are great, for others not so much (a lot of times I think this comes down to their Zigbee mesh not being strong enough to reach from the front of the house).

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I had done a little reading before posting but many of the posts were as much as almost 2 years old, a lifetime in this tech field, so I was hoping there would be better more reliable solutions.

I imagine I can buy a simple zigbee or z-wave physical switch of some kind to just put on the visor in the car and use it like a garage door opener kind of thing.

If you are going to do that, you should just get the Arrival sensor as it reports Present / Not Present as the Device Handler is defined. Plus it has functionality that is different in that it performs a check in every 30 seconds.

Mobile Presence is still the best way to go about it. Find which method of mobile presence works best in your environment though.

I second the arrival sensor, we have used this and it has been pretty reliable. Only issue is you will use batteries.

I also use it paired with other modes of detection linked to above. We use life360, and the built in presence, and the FOB.

Using an app called reliable presence or something like that. It watches all your selected presence choices then toggles a virtual presence to try and match and track. It has worked pretty good for us. Some people use web core and it’s presence or web core and multiple presence in an OR situation to achieve the same result.

There is also others who have created smart apps to help with presence detection for both Android and Apple. You can find them with a search as both are fairly new and have active conversation in those threads.

Hope that helps.

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Thanks, I will check out these options. I do see they have key fob type things that just have 1 or 4 buttons on them. I wonder if that is a more reliable solution and I would get multiple functions and better battery life?

Edit: Ack…These z-wave key fobs with buttons don’t have great reviews either. Bad battery life as well.

But the ST presence sensor reviews are pretty darn bad, may have to try one anyway.

Really surprised this has not been better figured out by ST. I would think knowing when I arrive home is one of the most important things for a smart home system to know without me having to run multiple different apps and combining numerous sensors to get an accurate read.

Maybe I’ll look more into the wifi presence option and figure out how to have my phone automatically turn on wifi when I am arriving close to home.

If your on Android, look into Tasker to automate things on your phone