Opening door lock with mobile presence: good idea or not?

I have been reading a good bit about opening the door with mobile presence & is it safe to say that I should skip that setup?

I’ve had this automation setup for over a year now. Our door opens when I or my wife arrive based on mobile precence. The door autolocks after a few min. of inactivaty.

Only you can make that judgment. It depends on your neighborhood, your personal feelings, any concerns you might have about your phone being stolen and then someone using that to get into the house, etc.

It’s always a balance between convenience and security, and you’re the only one who can say where along the spectrum you feel comfortable.


Thanks guys. My wife doesn’t want it because of security. My neighborhood is good & I have an active house day & night so I might try it & see how it works.

If you do, I would suggest some type of notification either SMS or through Push when it does unlock or lock based on presence. That way you know when it happens and if you didn’t want it to you can always re-lock the door right away. At least then you won’t be surprised when you find the door unlocked. More importantly, the wife won’t find the door unlocked when expecting it to be locked.

The real issue I found with mobile presence isn’t the arriving home, its the random acts when it “leaves” home and then arrives again. I was getting my “I’m Back” routine running in the middle of the night. So, tying mobile presence along with the hub’s mode is one way around that. For example, if a phone arrives home but the house is in “Away” mode, the lock will unlock. But if the house is in “Home” mode when someone “arrives”, it won’t unlock the door. That way, if one of your phones jumps away in the middle of the night, it won’t unlock the door when it magically comes home again. That of course means that it won’t unlock automatically for the 2nd person but that’s just an example. There are ways you can automate it through virtual switches and whatnot if you want to get REALLY complicated. Also, if you use ST routines, there is a minimum time away setting to help prevent the same thing from happening. There are little things like that that can help to augment the presence system which isn’t all that great to be honest. Might help with the WAF.

I know you just bought a Schlage lock: which model did you get? Many have an “auto lock“ feature which automatically locks the door again two or three minutes after it was unlocked. We use this at my house because I can’t count on all the people who come and go always remembering to lock it up, and I don’t want my service dog to get out by himself. (He can open the door, but not turn the deadbolt)

not my dog, but mine knows the same behavior

You have to consider where and when it will trigger and how that will work for you. You might perhaps find a delay useful.

I am often walking and because of the road layout the Classic app presence can trigger a good five minutes before I get home. I also have railway lines close by so I could ‘arrive’ while on a train.

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I use presence to “arm” the automatic unlock (change ST mode to “Arriving”), then opening the garage door triggers the interior deadbolt to unlock, and changes ST mode to “Home”. That approach struck a good balance for me between security and convenience. I have a smart lock on my front door as well, but it isn’t automated because I couldn’t come up with a similar scenario that I was comfortable with.

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I use two devices To limit the number of times the unlock is used and to also shrink the detection zone to just the length of the wheelchair ramp at my front door. Obviously it’s more expensive to do it this way, as well as a more complex set up, but for me it solved the “bus stop problem” of the door unlocking while I was still on the bus.

You can find this and other presence methods in the following FAQ

@JDRoberts I got the Schlage Z-Wave Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt with Built-In Alarm. I think I’ll try the Mobil presence & just see how it works.

My setup is similar to Tolik’s. The door unlocks if one of the two Smartthings presence sensors shows up (they are modified to use AA batteries). If the door is not opened within three minutes, it re-locks.

The odds on a criminal waiting around for that 3-minute window of opportunity - when one of us arrives but leaves again without having opened the door - are infinitesimal. I see it as no security risk.

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I do this with WebCore… I’m not sure my logic is the most efficient. It’s based on a presence sensor and the door’s contact sensor. My wife loves it because it means that she can open the door without a key when she comes home with all her shopping. It’ll send texts based on the status of the door lock, although it doesn’t verify if the door is locked - so it’ll send the text even if the lock jams (that’s the next improvement I need to consider). I don’t have it lock after a certain period because I don’t see a security risk if we’re in the house, but now I’ve seen people doing that, I might have to implement it.

We use our cell phones as presence sensors, but they’re not always 100% reliable, so if we don’t get the text we can also lock them remotely through the kevo app.