FAQ: The Many Ways of Detecting Presence (2020)

What device did you use as the repeater?

Iris pocket plugs; both in the garage and in the office. The office is facing the street, and the plug-in is on the wall directly below the window facing the street.

Then it may just not work for your purposes. You could try a network heal. Put the presence sensor close to the repeater you want to use. Unplug the hub (including removing any batteries that has them). Leave everything else on power, but leave the hub off power for 15 minutes. Then when you put the hub back on power, The other devices will rebuild their neighbor tables, and the fob will try that repeater first next time. You may not see the difference until the next day, you can take a little while for the tables to rebuild. But it might be worth a try.

Thanks JD. Honestly, with everything else more or less working well at this time, I’m rather apprehensive about doing anything to the system that might (in my mind at least) make a dogs dinner of anything.

1 Like

Well my thought process was, as I heard someone else mention in another thread, “first past the post”. I don’t care which presence sensor triggers first. I just want it to trigger as soon as it detects I am near my home. Using CoRE I was thinking I could setup pistons to change the simulated master sensor to arrived when any of my individual presence sensors are detected as at home. The master sensor would only arrive once regardless of how many or how soon the remaining sensors arrive so this would prevent routines running multiple times due to multiple sensors arriving. I probably wouldn’t use all the others for departing since (although I do not have it full working yet) WiFi presence seems to have hours worth of delay before departing if relying on arp scans to detect presence. Presence sensors getting stuck is something I am too familiar with at this point, especially for Android devices. To alleviate this issue, and the annoyance of alarms when I leave guests at my house by themselves, I have already created a simulate presence sensor called guest, and using CoRE connected that to a simulated switch so I can quickly and easily disable auto-arming.

IFTTT, now has an Android connect to WiFi applet.

I use this to turn on a Virtual Presence Sensor that uses the Universal Virtual Device Type Handler (needs to be a Switch and Presence device).

That’s what I did here: Uses ST Phone Presence, IFTTT Android Location, and IFTTT WiFi to control a Virtual Presence Sensor.


I’m wondering, with the low price of Raspberry Pi, what the feasibility is of building something similar to the Asus router stuff specifically for Raspian. I’m actually running a VM server with a few Windows and Ubuntu VMs. I can see how having arp-scan for linux should be able to be run periodically with cron to look for specific physical addresses of devices and trigger presence in the same way that the Asus stuff does but I’m not skilled enough to translate from one platform to another. Anyone have the necessary skills or any advice?


That’s basically what I’m running on my ubuntu media server. The code’s pretty rough around the edges.

Another option for Mobile Presence in SmartThings:

1 Like

Hey this looks great! Anyway you can make the iOS app available on 10.2?

I’m currently jailbroken and need to stay on that version.

That’s a question that @ady624 or @anon36505037 can answer.

Thanks for the heads up - but I got it working, no need for those guys to waste their time developing for 10.2.

I’ve made a small opensource project which sniffs wifi packets and lets you upload events (MAC address is active - your phone is nearby) via various protocols: http://izmailoff.github.io/iot/wifi-presense.

Did toy integrate it with smartthings?

You can integrate with hardware via GPIO plugin or with software via REST, MQTT, etc. Not limited to particular consumer. If you have a particular API in mind I could give you an example.

1 Like

I have a Mac that is always running…what do you recommend?

This app that I developed works pretty much on any platform as long as you have a wifi card that can do monitor mode. You need to read the post to understand how things work: install and config-wise.

1 Like

We have our phones act as presence using the ST native presence feature in the apps. This has worked fine.

The problem we have… guests. Let’s say they visit and do their own thing. While we are away, they come home and use our guest key. They are not connected to our ST account, and even use a guest SSID on our wifi. So how do we detect their arrival before they open the door and set off the alarms? The arrival key fob seemed perfect, but while we have not tested one, appears to be unreliable. Most of these solutions cannot work for our situation. Any ideas?

As the first post in this thread mentioned, the arrival sensors work just fine for many households, it’s just that they don’t work fine for all households. So they’re definitely worth a try, as the issue is almost always a matter of local interference which may not apply at your own house. But you won’t know until you try one.

If you are willing to make a few changes to your paradigm: My solution to this involves the Schlage Camelot lock and webcore. Any valid code entered at the lock puts SHM in ‘home’ configuration, disarming the alarm. I have SHM monitoring a simulated contact sensor (combines the lock and the physical contact sensor on the door). Unlock the lock, wait one second or so, and then open the door.

A handful of ST presence fobs costs the same as the lock… and the lock will not get misplaced.