Not having much luck with presence detection


(Scott Chapman) #1

Yea, I’ve been trying to come up with the right setup to be able to automatically open my garage door when I arrive. I’ve been trying the android phone app, and life360 for presence detection. Neither seem to be particularly reliable.

I’ve also “rolled my own” when I created a virtual presence detector and am using my phone to monitor when it see’s my home wifi and open/close based on that. Surprisingly that is not all that reliable either.

One last thing I am going to test is whether or not being on my home network is important. I suspect that if my phone is not on the same network as my ST hub then it is going through their cloud before to my device. I suspect that is not as reliable as going through my own home network. SO, going to give that a try and see what happens.

Haven’t seen any other z-wave presence detectors available that are more flexible. Seems like that would be ideal…

Anyone have any scheme’s which are reliable?


#2

There are several different ways in which presence detection can fail, so some alternatives may fit and some may not depending on the exact issues you’re seeing.

In my own case, the issue was what I call the bus stop problem. I use a wheelchair, and it can take the bus driver several minutes to get me unloaded. So I don’t want my presence to be detected too soon or The door will have automatically locked again before I get to it.

I use a combination of two devices to solve this issue. Even so, I had problems due to a neighbors boosted Wi-Fi that made the zigbee presence sensor not reliable for me. So I now use an IBeacon instead. I use one with an adjustable range, so I’ve been able to set it to pretty much exactly the area that I want to cover. But this type of solution only works if you want a quite small detection area. If instead, you’re trying to get coverage for a larger area, you would have to use a different device.

Anyway, the following topic discusses the two device method which can greatly improve Detection reliability. :sunglasses:


(Scott Chapman) #3

Yea, i think he was trying to deal with false-positives. I am mostly not having events trigger at all. I get home, garage door stays closed. I can see that events eventually trigger, but it seems like there is some unacceptable delay in the system. Not sure it is just happening when it is going through the cloud or not. Worth a test.


(Ben W) #4

Phones don’t report their location real time. There is a wake up and report interval, unless an app is actively using GPS or other location detections (like Google Maps). Most wifi turns off when screen is off, with wakes to see whats out there, which is used for some geo location estimating.

Even if you phone is on the network, its going through the cloud. Local processing is limited to smart lighting and SHM smart apps, and only if using ST device drivers for all items in the SmartApp. Easy way to test it, unplug your modem and see if you can access ST on your phone (I have never done that, may try it)

I played with this some, and I have found I need about 1/2 a mile geo fence. 80% of the time it triggers near the 1/2 mile marker, 19% of the time it triggers when I pull up, and 1% my alarm goes off (so no trigger).

I don’t use any automated rules to open or unlock my house. Physical security has been drilled into me and pressing a button or code is not too bad. You can probably make rules to re-secure, but ST is not reliable enough yet.

The iBeacon does look interesting because you can make a small range. I know there are some threads about using zwave presence detectors in cars, so once its back on the network it can trigger something. This may be good because you may be able to use local processing.


(Scott Chapman) #5

You must be on iPhone?


(Ben W) #6

I am on Android. I though iBeacon was on android, looks like Apple may be blocking it. There are similar tech for android. http://vincenth.net/blog/archive/2014/04/24/building-cross-platform-ibeacon-apps-for-ios-android-and-windows-with-c-and-xamarin.aspx

Low Power Bluetooth maybe a good solution, that runs all the time in the back ground and connects to other devices. Do you have an Echo, or another speaker? Maybe trigger your phone to send the open garage even when it connects to a bluetooth device. Thats basically the theory behind iBeacon.

Bluetooth has a range up to 100m, but it takes maybe 10 seconds to connect.

edit: adding link


#7

IBeacons work with Android, just in a slightly different way. Google now has a new beacon standard, Eddystone, specifically for use with android. So their options if you want to look into that.


(Ben W) #8

I was thinking about the possibility of using a USB powered Eddystone that is plugged into my car and that ST could see it with its Bluetooth. Too bad its not enabled.

But a tablet running in your garage may work. Its reverse iBeacon…