Erratic night time triggering of Geofence Actions


(Tina Caron) #1

Hi All,

Hoping someone else here has had this issue. I have ST set up, and working great with a wide amount of automation and devices, for roughly 4 weeks. I’m using geofences with pretty good reliability to trigger things like Hue Moods, door lock/unlock, Hello Home actions. I started with my iPhone 5 as the presence sensor. A week ago I switched to a Samsung Galaxy S5. Swapped out the two phones as presence sensors, and it’s all back and running.

Now I’m a week into this new phone, and overnight for the last two nights, at roughly 1:00 - 3:00 AM, Smart Things AND Harmony Home Hub have both reacted at the same time as though my phone just arrived into the home geofence. The phone, however, was sitting on a corner of the bed, where it had been for over 3 hours while I slept. I had not come and gone, and the phone had not moved. This is happening multiple times in that time frame, turning on my AV system, lights, changing my thermostat, and unlocking my door. My arrival home triggers a Hello, Home action, and my Harmony Hub starts an activity as well.

Because both ST and Harmony are displaying reactions, I am pretty sure this is something my phone is doing, and not a SmartThings problem, but hoping someone in this community has heard of this happening and knows what to do?! Nothing worse than having your whole house light up and the TV come on in the middle of some great sleep. I wake up, put everything back to sleep in the right states, and sometimes it happens again immediately! Last night it happened 4 separate times. I took some time to add some mode restrictions to my Hello, Home “Home Night” activity and took away the sensor trigger from Harmony just to get some peace at night, but it’s frustrating, since this has worked fine up until this weekend. I even restarted the phone hoping that would ‘reset’ whatever was going bonkers, but it did it again about an hour later.


(Marc) #2

I have this issue with my wife’s iPhone 6 once in while. I blame the way Smartthings handles geofencing. Complain to support so they can be encouraged to fix this issue. Doesn’t seem to happen with most devices including my iPhone 6 but for some reason smarthings struggles with some. I even tried Life360 and that kept an accurate count where my wife’s iPhone was but Smartthings still was inconsistent. Their support told me they don’t collect GPS coordinates a little different than mapping apps and take privacy into consideration but at the cost of these issues…


(Tina Caron) #3

The only thing that makes me hesitate about calling it a SmartThings issue is the fact that my Harmony Welcome Home activity, which is not fired by ST, is also firing at the same time. I can’t seem to hit the right combo of search strings in Google to see if this is a phone problem that I can fix.


(Marc) #4

How r u using Harmony actions via Geofencing?


(Tina Caron) #5

Just the use of the Sensor Trigger feature with the activity. Although…I wonder if that shows up by virtue of the fact that I have paired the Harmony Hub with the ST hub. I’ve had a consistent issue with being able to connect ST and Harmony in both directions. Harmony can control ST devices, but ST can’t control Harmony. There’s a whole 'nuther thread about that issue :slight_smile:

Anyway, perhaps there is a lower level connection and my ST bad behavior is dragging the Harmony Activity along with it. The whole thing seems a little convoluted and mysterious. It’s all great if it just works, but when weirdness like this happens, it’s hard to unravel. I did find another thread that seems to describe exactly my issue.


(Marc) #6

Try installing life360 and see if that integration works better as Smartthings does work with it. In my case, it didn’t help much.


(Tina Caron) #7

Truthfully, I am trying to get away from having little pieces of automation all over the place. I already have IFTTT, Hue, Harmony, and SmartThings, and I’m trying to put as much into ST as possible. It’s too hard to keep track of what is being triggered by what when so many components are at play.


(Marc) #8

Agreed! I actually had to create a spreadsheet and keep track of all of my automation logic as it became so complicated. Then I stopped keeping track of the spreadsheet as it became a second job. I’d love to have everything in ST but the reality is the HA technology right now is too fragmented and you can’t depend on a single provider. I am using IFTTT, Harmony, ST, Nest, RainMachine, MyQ, Swann cameras, Hue, Simplisafe and Sonos. I do 80 percent from ST, but sometimes the native experience is better in Hue, Nest, Sonos even with integration options available.


(Tina Caron) #9

Glad I’m not the only one who had to sit down and write a personal home automation spec sheet. And then I too gave up on that :slight_smile:


(Tina Caron) #10

This is definitely not SmartThings related. IFTTT triggering of the Harmony Activity does the same thing. I have been able to see in my Google Location History that my phone does appear to teleport. This had always been in the overnight until this morning, when it happened just before 7:00 AM. I can see that the minute before I experience this issue, my location is fairly precisely noted as my home, and then it teleports about 3 miles away to what looks like another residential address. Every time I have this problem, the location service jumps to that spot. Interestingly it is a location I don’t think I’ve so much as driven past, let alone have registered on a wifi location or hotspot.

So what I really want to know is…how does location services work, and in what order? My phone was set up to use the Highly Accurate setting of leveraging Wifi, GPS, and cell towers. I am theorizing that perhaps it is WiFi first, and if I lose my Wifi for even a moment, it causes this jump. But why to so far away and always to the same spot? It’s driving me bonkers that this is happening, and seems on the surface like some setting on the phone I should be able to tweak. I’m going to keep researching, but the plot is thickening.