How do you handle forgotten phones or presence fobs?

(Brian Smith) #1


  • two phones added for presence
  • presence tags on two sets of keys
  • hub setup to recognize when house is empty to place in away mode based on above

My wife and I leave to go out for the evening, leaving no one home. But, my wife leaves her phone at home by accident or maybe leaves her keys at home because I’m driving. (People forget their phones, because we are human!)

In this scenario, the hub would think that someone was still home so it might not trigger away mode unless I have motion sensors around the house, correct? Can you have motion trump presence? (Of course, I won’t mention that we also have cats…different topic!)

Of course, there is a way where that fails. We all go outside and sit on the deck or in the driveway (better sun in the driveway and we can say “driveway party” and all our neighbors come running with drinks in hand), the house would be empty for an extended period but presence would show that we are there…because we are. So, in this case, motion does not trump presence.

I know, I know, I don’t think there is a solve here unless we tell the house we are home or away - perhaps a multi-button switch near the door to override. I was just curious if anyone else ran into this scenario and what they came up with as a solution.

(Brian Smith) #2

No one out there in ST-land has run into issues like this? :frowning:

Although I don’t have a hub yet (yep, I’m a lurker at the moment - will I now be branded as one?!), I’m thinking through this scenario because it can definitely hit the “family does not approve” factor if it does’t work correctly.

So, just looking to others to see what you have done when running into similar scenarios. Also, looking to SmartThings support to see if some of this functionality can be added if it does’t already exist.

For example, I thought of this:

If phone leaves area but presence fob remains, assume user has left (since the phone leaving generally means the person actually left)


If presence fob leaves but phone remains, assume user has left and place in “forgot phone mode” which may notify someone after x minutes of the condition or check for motion before committing to full away mode.

Just some thoughts on this. Obviously, this is pretty advanced where ST needs be trained on “intent”.

(Beckwith) #3

I have the mode change to away when everyone is gone. Thus, if someone forgets a phone, I can manually toggle it if desired. While away, Sonos barks at motion detected at front door as well as some notifications.

Regardless of improperly handled presence, I designate a switch in the house that doubles as a master shut off switch. Lets face it, you can make a mistake and you don’t want alarms unexpectedly going off and your family unable to do anything about them.

I explain that this will trigger this and that will trigger that for THEIR security and safety, etc. I tell them I’m also human and may configure it wrong and they need to expect a mistake while I shake out the kinks. Then I trigger one of the alarms and show them the switch that shuts it off. It is regular z-wave switch in the hallway, not a big red button. Thus I don’t waste a switch. I don’t see this reducing security because the alarm is already triggered and just can’t imagine an intruder guessing the switch correct switch. And they don’t have to fumble with their phones to shut things down.

The family has been real supportive since they understand it is for them and they have easy control to shut down when I make an error.