The presence options for ST’s are great, but not terribly accurate. iBeacon would be a great addition:

You can already do this:

  1. Get some beacons here: http://estimote.com
  2. Write a simple iPhone app to interface with the beacon (has public API) and relay the information to a simple SmartThings device handler.

I haven’t had the time or funds to play around with this, though.

I am unsure if this will fix your reliability problems, though. I am pretty sure the issues are due to spotty network connectivity. For example, when you are leaving your house and exit the beacon region, you need to upload that information to the SmartThings cloud in order to update the presence device. If you do not have network connectivity at that point the app will keep trying to upload that information in the background, until service has been restored. iOS unfortunately only allows apps to do this for a limited time, until it does not grant these apps any more background execution time. If your presence hasn’t been updated in the ST cloud at that point, you are pretty much hosed.

One benefit of the BLE beacons is that the range is actually quite limited, so you might be able to set it up in a way, where your presence will be updated when your wifi is still in range (or just came back into range). I would expect most people’s wifi connections to be significantly more reliable than the cellular network.

The cool thing about BLE beacons is that they potentially allow you to track your location within the house, say which room you are currently in. I can see that opening up interesting possibilities.

Very interested in adding this to my (small but growing) system as well!