Phone as Presence Sensor without ST App?

Is there any way to use an (Android) phone as a presence sensor, without installing the ST App on it?

ST isn’t very reliable at recognizing the presence of my main phone anyhow, but I don’t essentially want to give others “root” or “admin”-ish access to the SmartThings controls, including configuration, just so the alarm doesn’t fire when they come in, nor do I want to give them an unreliable extra fob to carry.

Maintenance free solution that has worked for me is Life 360 and IFTTT, but that requires 360 installs on each phone. For my teenager who doesn’t want to install anything that might track his whereabouts, I use virtual presence based on lock codes. I am interested in what others use.

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Thanks, that looks like it would work although I don’t really want them thinking I am or can track them; just that the system will know when they come home.

There’s the Tasker solution utilizing SmartTools which uses wifi signal for presence

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I have two 16 year old boys… I track their every move!

Here’s an article with more details on the solution @Drewbert34 mentioned using SharpTools + Tasker.


An alternative (or addition) to using a wifi signal is to use cell towers. I use an Android app called Automateit that can scan for cell towers that your phone has recently connected to and save them as a location. When I connect to any one that has been saved I have a rule that uses SharpTools to switch on a virtual presence sensor. I think Tasker could do the same thing but I found Automateit a bit easier to use.

It’ll take a few days to capture all the cell towers near your home but when you’ve got them all it’s pretty solid as a presence sensor. I use the same list of towers in conjunction with a distance rule (if 150m away from Home AND not connected to any saved cell tower) to run a goodbye phrase and switch off the virtual presence sensor.