Internet of things for non Internet of spouses/children

This is something that’s been on their plate for a while now. I know they want to do it, just now sure how soon they’ll have time to do it.

I totally agree that it’s an important part that needs to be addressed though. I’d love to give my kids access to ST on their tablets, but there’s no way I’m doing that without being able to restrict by user. I am NOT giving my kids access to the “things” in their siblings room. That’s a fight just waiting to happen…again, and again, and again…

Another great use is if guests are over. Create a ‘guest’ user account that gives them access just to what you want them too and you’re good to go.

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[quote=“MrPink, post:1, topic:3570, full:true”]I love the idea of using Mobile phones as presence sensors since they’re glued to my teen/wife. However, I’d prefer the kid doesn’t have access to “play around” in the app and the wife isn’t very tech savvy. It would be nice if there was a way to set permissions user by uswe… Set up the kid as sensor only no notifications no rights to add or view sensors, wife read only, and nerd of the house admin.

Are you on Android or iPhone? If you’re Android there is a complex to setup, but easy to use method to create shortcuts to just the things you want people to have access too and not others.

It involves setting up endpoints and then using tasker to create tasks that hit those endpoints. If you’re tech savvy it isn’t that horribly hard to do, but it does involve a bit of work. But once you’ve got things created, you can setup widgets (or takser apps) that will perform functions like toggle specific lights at the touch of the widget or app.

I think this is where the integration with Life360 comes into play. Your kid would have the Life360 app and Smartthings can use that data as a presence sensor. So you could get all of the presence benefits, without giving any admin permissions to your kid.


Unfortunately the girls have iPhones so not much tweaking I can do. I like the idea of the life360 or maybe wearables.

The wife already has the app and I’m cool with that… It’d be nice if I could limit what she she’s as far as notifications or keep her from being able to accidentally delete stuff but, not a huge deal. For example I work from home so she doesn’t need to be notified of knocks on the door when FedEx comes

Kid on the other hand can’t put the damn phone down so it would be perfect for a sensor. Wearables would be cool but I’m not sure if that’d have the glue factor of an iPhone. She Def doesn’t need to be able to suppress notifications or control thermostat and/or doors… The app will do everything she needs for her lol.

Me too… My wife wont really use the app but I want it running in the background so that they non thinkable usable home automation stuff works for her, turning outside lights on when she pulls up. Turning air conditioning on ect. Also when she leaves putting house into away mode. But I dont want her phone getting all the push notificaitons and what not.

Just a tip for Android users: You can go into the settings - apps on your phone. Then pull up the SmartThings app (or any app), and uncheck the “receive notifications” box near the top. This should stop any push notifications coming from the app.

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Speaking of Android notifications: at last year’s I/O, Google made a presentation regarding the new Play Services, and that synchronized notifications would be coming. I can’t really recall seeing any implementation of this… anywhere. It would appear that SmartThings (among many other devs) are not using this service for their push notifications. Is there a reason for this?

Don’t get me wrong. I love getting notifications from SmartThings; in fact I get quite a few, but would prefer not having to dismiss all of them from all three of my devices.

I posted a feature request a while ago for multiple user accounts with different access. You can see the thread here:

I think there have been other requests outside that thread as well Obviously I’m in favor of it as well.

This does not suppress low battery push notifications. This is a real annoyance for my family who just don’t want to be bothered and would rather just have me manage it.

Yes – I heard a rumor that there was a design decision that certain high impact alerts would override regular notification settings, but didn’t realize it actually exists.

The solution: Disable the Low Battery Alert Solution SmartApp and replace it with something you or the Community writes.


I thought this was changed:

But now that you mention it, I am using a community low battery app and maybe it addresses this.

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To be politically correct: “spouses,” not “wives.” My mom is the computer science professor, my dad has no tech skills whatsoever. (Hi, Mom! LOL)

Anyway, there is an option for each kid’s room if you want to go to the trouble, and you just want button control inside the room rather than for kids on the go…

  1. you get a cheap android tablet, should be under $50.
  2. You install a version of SmartTiles or a similar dashboard app and install only the devices that tablet has access to.
  3. You wall or desk mount it in kiosk mode inside a frame that doesn’t give them access to anything else.

The following picture is from a similar community created dashboard by florianz. Again you would limit the tiles in each room to the ones that kid is supposed to have on/off access to inside their room. So each display would be a little different.

Whichever dashboard SmartApp you pick, now each room has a “control center” that doesn’t let them access the devices in any other room.

This won’t keep them from sneaking into another kid’s room and turning things on and off, but they can do that now.

It’s a lot of set up work for the parent, but has a nice wow factor for both the kid and their friends. Cost is pretty low.

Another option is the Enerwave sc7 remote for each room. Wall or desk mount, less cool looking than the tablet, but might meet the need for some families.

But my new favorite is the battery operated Smarten IT 3 button toggle switch. Costs about $50, can work sitting flat on a table or mounted anywhere, excellent for Nontechies, including my service dog. :wink:

I have written a long step by step install FAQ for it:

And yet another control option for bulbs controlled by a Hue Bridge or WeMo switches is the Amazon Echo with voice control. Works great. This is our most common method for controlling lights. The Echo doesn’t yet integrate directly with SmartThings but a Hue bridge can talk to both so the Echo is a nice add on.


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@JDRoberts , in case you missed it, there is a newer version of the dashboard:

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does anyone know of any other battery powered switches (or ones that don’t require ground or neutral for power). I so wish there existed a simple switch that looks like a Decora light switch, that would fit in my existing box, or even just on top of the wall with a battery (that lasted a year or so) that I could assign to actions or lights. It would completely circumvent the issues I have with simple (no ground or neutral) wiring with LED bulbs.

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I just remembered Cooper has an elegant but expensive ($99) battery operated zwave dimmer switch. But I don’t know of anyone using it with smartthings yet. Might be worth a try.

@thegibertchan had this switch awhile ago and wrote a device type for it, but I don’t know if it ended up working or not:

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yup. I have it installed on my wall over my wall switch to control my connected bulbs.

There’s three buttons on this device configured for different sets of lights.
Here’s a demo:


That is perfect… Now can we find or make equivalent at a much lower cost?

The price of these switches has come down significantly. It appears to be about $60 now with shipping at Amazon.

That is cool, but still not really a cost effective overall approach. How long have the batteries lasted for you?

Well… though I’d hate to pay $60 per room for a large home, I’m tempted to say that this price is nearly good enough.

Consider that there is no installation effort required. If used with $15 GE Link or $20 Hue Lux bulbs, etc., this is now in the same ballpark as a wired Z-Wave wall switch: OK … maybe 2 or 3 times as costly, but you get to put the switch anywhere, and it has 3 buttons, etc…

My solution in the meantime are the old Aeon 4-Button (8 usable) Minimotes at $25 each + 3M velcro strips.