[OBSOLETE] Reliable Presence SmartApp

Routines or Rule Manager will do what you want.

Thanks. Those won’t work in this case because the custom ecobee3 device code doesn’t include a hook to allow me to set Away or Home based on ecobee3 status. I’m hopeful the developer will eventually add that feature, but it’s not there, yet.

It looks like I will get my desired outcome simply by modifying the presenceHandler to the following:

def presenceHandler(evt) {

Does that look right to you? I don’t have any experience in SmartThings or Groovy (until now). Thanks for your help.

As follow-up to this, it seems to be working exactly as expected now. Thanks for leading me in the right direction!

So you were able to use your phone and your wife’s as you posted above and adding the code above? I was trying to do the same thing you did for the same reason.

Currently I use my security system to email when we set our alarm away/disable and IFTTT will pick up the email and change the Ecobee mode.

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It works perfectly. I get IFTTT notifications immediately when we all leave or when one of us returns. Ecobee has been switching flawlessly. I’m impressed with the setup overall.

I’m about to go insane trying to get this to work reliably. I’m going to try some of the things listed in this thread this weekend and I hope they work, but I’m going to rant a bit here. Sorry! This should be one of the easiest things for this system to do, but it’s not! I don’t know if it’s a phone problem (Samsung S5’s) or it’s a ST problem, but at this point, I would not recommend anyone getting “Smart Home things” unless they are an experienced coder…which I am not. The trial and error of all this is ridiculous, and yes, I’m aware that it’s a new and open system and therefore it’s going to have growing pains. Watching commercials for Alexa make it seem so simple, just plug stuff in and you can talk to it and it will work. I call shenanigans! Again, Sorry! Rant over…for now. :slight_smile: Thank you to all that post on here though! It has been extremely helpful. Just wish SmartThings would get on this stuff as fast as the community has.

Hello, I just got all this running, doing Life360 and iPhone as my presence sensors for reliable and what I’m honestly trying to do is make my garage door open consistently when I ride my motorcycle. Always been a pain.

Anyway, I noticed everyone has mentioned using IFTTT for this. Anyone got a recipe to share?

Like are you just having IFTTT "if presence detected through smartthings then “turn on” (doesn’t have open) garage door with smartthings as well?

Just curious if IFTTT is really the best method for this. I’ve tried Smartthings with a routine based on just iphones and that was terribly unreliable.


I don’t see any reason that IFTTT wouldn’t make this more complicated and thus less reliable.

  1. Get reliable Presence Device (not sure what works best, Life360?, a Router script that checks for WiFi connection (MAC Address) is one of the better ways? ZigBee Keyfob is likely reliable with the right placement of router or repeaters?)

  2. Verify that 1. is working by checking the Event logs for a few days.

  3. Use the Presence arrived event with Rule Machine to trigger the door to open. You probably can add lots of wonderful complex condition to not open to the door after midnight, etc. to increase reliability.

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I recommend a fob on your person or the bike for best response time.

Or increase your geofence size.

Adding IFTTT is just a third phone app. They all depend on your phone which is possibly the unreliable bit.

Phone geo reporting is generally very slow on purpose in order to save battery.


I was interested in testing this out because my wife’s phone always has issues with getting stuck. I tried the github link from the initial post but i get a 404 error. Has this code been moved?


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Here is the updated link:


For anyone that has had trouble with garage door opening being reliable, this app is definitely the answer. I’m happy to report after a few days, my garage is consistently working and also triggering a couple of other actions, but regardless, the help of all these conversations, I got it.

I figured I’d post my set up in case anyone else might be looking for the info.

Reliable Presence w/ iPhone, Life360 as presence sensors. (I think it would still be better with fob, but this is what I have, and it’s working, even though both sources are really my phone, so that’s why I say better with another outside source.)

Rule Machine as Trigger not a condition. (I finally figured out what this app is all about, i’m new, what can I say. Get to it from MarketPlace > Smart Apps > My Apps> Rule ----- took me a little bit to figure out that was the only place to access triggers, i could be wrong, other under Rule Machine just seemed to have conditions.)

I also increased my home location to about 1400 feet. I’d like to tighten that up and maybe a fob will help with that, but for now, this seemed about right. I did however have a little lag. I got home and by my mailbox at 5:32pm and I show log as garage door opening at 5:34pm (there should also be a slight bit of time while door is opening and log shows change), so I need to work that out because if I don’t stop by mailbox, I’m guessing I would already be in my driveway, but I’ll test that out.

My failures were trying IFTTT. That just didn’t trigger consistently at all. I also tried Reliable Presence just triggering a routine, that just never worked and now I’m guessing it must have been something with how I triggered the routine, not sure on that one. This has consistently worked three days in a row, but i’m guessing many more.

Great app and thank you for the work!!


I have had great success using IFTTT, but not with its geofence. Instead, I have an IFTTT recipe that toggles a simulated switch whenever a corresponding Android phone connects/disconnects to our home WiFi. The solution has proven to be more reliable and responsive than that provided by SmartThings presence. The solution also makes for a very tight “geofence”.

The switch can be combined with an app (found in this community) to provide a simulated presence that is compatible throughout the SmartThings realm.


I really like the simplicity of this idea. It’s not using the geolocation so much, it’s using a hard connection. I think this would be more reliable than the typical phone geo abilities. Nice!

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I definitely should have specified that, I tried IFTTT geofence and that was fairly unreliable. I’m very curious about your WiFi setup. I’m on iPhone and router is TimeCapsule / Airport, so not sure if is possible or not. I saw most were using DD-WRT which isn’t possible on Airport, but curious how this is set up. I do however have last years cisco / netgear laying around and I am quite addicted to all this at this point, sooooooo, maybe I’ll poke around. :wink:

I too have had great success with IFTTT and geofence via Life 360. Been using 360 for 6 months now and love it so much as I subscribed to the pro version. I have certain places that trigger certain automations, like adjusting the thermostat, running routines and disarming my security system all via IFTTT. The 360 connect app with ST has failed miserably in the past so I uninstalled it a few months back. I recently reinstalled it and I am pretty impressed how well has been performing, so I am thinking to convert some of my recipes into rules.

I don’t have anything additional set up on my aging WiFI router. The IFTTT recipe is triggered on my Android Device as it makes the connection to my home WiFi. The trigger is not done on the router side. I don’t know whether iOS devices offer the same capability through IFTTT.

With IFTTT I can later add a recipe into the mix for Geofencing. And it can be set up for entry into the geofence, without necessarily setting it up for exit. Such a setup offers an early trigger upon returning home and yet maintain a prompt response when leaving home.

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This is an interesting smartapp but I don’t believe solves my issue. My wife’s mobile phone is extremely unreliable for presence ST mobile app. I went out and bought a fob for her which has also been unreliable since it sits in her car and battery life and outside weather sometimes make it come and go. I now have a third option which is router presence using DD-WRT which should work well when she’s connected to main router, but I also have an extender in the rear of the house. I basically need a best 2 of 3 smartapp. I can probably do this with Rule Machine which I plan on doing having a Master Presence virtual switch and then using Mode director with that. It’s messy but should work.

This app can’t solve false reports, it solves the dead or sticky sensor problem and sometimes the response time problem depending on your mix of presence devices.

I’ve thought of the best of, but it requires three or more sensors per person. Can’t do that with everyone.