Mobile Presence sensors no longer working

Been having a issue with mobile presence sensors no longer working with 3 different phones.
I’m using webcore as well as a basic automation, under ide, I’m using a device handler by rtorchia : Virtual Presence Sensor.
All 3 mobile devices are online as well as the 3 virtual switchs.
This setup has been working for many months and 3 days ago it no longer, sometimes a few of them work, but not often, nothing has been changed on the mobile phones, ide or smartthings.
My hub is a smartthings v3 brand running firmware 43.00004, every other automation are working fine, just not mobile presence.
Does this sound like a hardware problem with the hub???
Any help would be much appreciated

This is groovy code and you may want to consider switching over to an Edge Driver such as the following:

But the question is: do your current virtual sensors show the correct status when you arrive and depart?

Your current virtual sensor and webcore will be phased out when ST ends support of the old architecture (groovy) and migrates to Edge.

1 Like

Currently my virtual switch aren’t showing the correct presence and from what I gather the mobile phones are not updating it according to the polling of mobiles shown in ide.

I have now added a virtual edge presence switch using the edge driver(virtual driver V2) and using a routine to change it depending on mobile presence within smartthings.

I was using a virtual switch with routines within smartthings before as well as ide, so very similar to that edge setup.

So I guess I’ll test it out to see if it works.

No such luck what so ever, presence on mobile either fails to update or updates 30 minutes later.
Could this be a sign of hub failure?
Over the last few weeks, the hub had to be powered off/on due to non functioning devices.

Unlikely, the hub itself doesn’t have anything to do with the platform’s recognition of presence. You get the same presence whether you have a hub or not. It’s the phone talking to the app talking to the smartthings cloud.

Yes, if you are using an edge driver for a virtual presence sensor then that runs on the hub, but the information that changes its state comes from the same old phone based system. Not the hub itself.

So the first thing is to find some form of presence which is reliable for you. this has been an issue from the very beginning of smartthings and different things will work for different households.

Some people are able to use their phone connecting to their own Wi-Fi router as an indication of presence.

Quite a few people with iPhones find that the HomeKit presence is reliable for them.

In the past, some people have found that the Life360 app is more reliable for presence than the SmartThings’ own implementation.

For those with Android phones, the combination of Tasker and SharpTools seems to work well for many people.

Some do use an alternative device. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I myself used to use an IBeacon, although now I just use HomeKit presence.

Some people find that their smart lock seems to reliably know when they have arrived, so then they can trigger off of that.

Once you find something that reliably knows when you are home or away, then you can use that to turn on the virtual presence sensor in smartthings.

But the virtual presence sensor by itself is only as good as whatever you are using to turn it on and off. It doesn’t add any improved reliability on its own. :thinking:

The funny thing, this setup has been reliable for almost 2 years, with a few hiccups every now and again when mobile batteries run low.
I’ve been using the presence to automatically shutdown the house and active an alarm all through smartthings and a bit of webcore, so I don’t understand why it’s now not working as it was 5 days ago.
Nothing has changed in hardware and the same phones, so I’m still at a loss why when I was working so well before.
Guess I’ll have to figure out another option for these android phones.

1 Like

If you are able to see the presence events on the mobile presence device via the IDE at all, and some users have reported that they never see events there, then I find that a reliable indication of activity.

I use Android phones and I find you do have to be increasingly proactive with your settings to counter what your phone does in the name of optimisation and security. So that means making sure the ST apps still have permission to use location services at all times and never go to sleep.

What I find curious is the sudden unreliability on three phones and the delayed reporting. I see delayed arrival reports with Google Home, but that is generally weird with everything presence, but with SmartThings you seem you get the reports instantly. If it doesn’t have a data connection when required it doesn’t play catch up later.

1 Like

It doesn’t often say it’s current state unless it’s changed in the last few minutes, what I check on is it’s last activity, as when is it was last polled.

As for setting, I’ve already added the battery optimisation to not optimised for smartthings, maps and location and under the app permission allow all times for location plus other permissions.
I know smartthings is able to get location, cause if you go to manage location and select centre location, it pinpoint the current location.
Google map location seems to be working fine as well.

So I guess it’s a mystery, 1 week works perfectly for 3 devices for years, the next week, said 3 devices no longer have a working presence sensor…so frustrating…

There should be a seven day history accessible via the List Events link. Some don’t see it.

I believe the presence sensing actually uses the host operating system’s geofencing. So the geofences are set up in e.g. Android and the app is alerted on enter and exit. it would be nice if the app did poll the location now and again and do its own geofence calculations as a sanity check.

Still no luck with this.
Even reset my hub on the advice of Samsung.
Some days it’ll work, other days it’ll poll 30 minutes to 3 hours later.
Location history on the phone indicates the actual location side of things is working perfectly for the phone.
So it’s something with smartthings and mobiles, maybe the hub is stuffed. I don’t know

For Android, you can consider SharpTools and Tasker as an alternative (see @JDRoberts link below)

I do wish Support would stop asking users to reset their hubs :frowning:

1 Like

The following is a popular solution for Android phones:

SharpTools/Tasker for presence detection (2022)

I recently had issues with presence in my Galaxy S8+ Android smartphone. I tried using a few virtual presence devices. One tied to Google Home’s Home and Away geolocation in their app to toggle the virtual presence device On/Off for Present and Away. And the other virtual presence device tied to Amazon Alexa’s app with Alexa Routines doing the same geolocation On/Off for Present and Away.

The results for Google Home where completely hit and miss, and even caused some false triggers when I was at home and it triggered that I was Away all of a sudden for whatever reason.

The results for Amazon Alexa were about 60-70 percent off the time it worked.

I also setup Tasker to just trigger a notification when Tasker was in my home geolocation, and Tasker worked every time.

Anyway, before I took the time to setup Tasker to trigger a virtual presence device using a http request action to the SmartThings API, I got a new S22+, and it’s geolocation is working in the SmartThings app. I also changed both Google Home’s and Amazon Alexa’s routines to the new smartphone, and they both seem to be working every time so far as well, except Google is still falsely triggering Away occasionally when I’m at home.

So, my results show for me that using Tasker as a geolocation backup is the way to go, and I’ll use an http request action to the SmartThings API directly to toggle a backup virtual presence device.

Reference for using a Tasker http request action to the SmartThings API by @orangebucket

1 Like

That’s the Google Home I recognise. I found making sure it wasn’t sleeping etc in the same way you would with the ST app helped. Also voice commands to, and touches on, Google/Nest speakers can now contribute to the Home/Away status.