Presence Detector

Hi guys,

What are you using to detect presence? Myself and my wife both have android phones but the default presence mechanism seems to be completely unreliable.

Any suggestions? Is there another app that would update presence if I connect/disconnect from my home network? The whole location thing seems to be a bit of a nightmare to set up and I’d prefer not to trigger actions when I’m close to my flat but not actually entering…

Thanks in advance

We have been using the built in function and its been fairly flawless for us! Both on Android phone (Nexus 5x) and iPhone 5c.

I have set the radius a little larger to give it fair chance, but you may need to check the power saving settings on your phone to ensure its not suspending the app preventing it from working properly.

An alternative I looked at a while back was looking for MAC addresses on a wifi network and using that as a detection mechanism. I was going to setup a network monitoring application on one of my windows servers to monitor, then using oAuth to toggle a virtual presence sensor. That could be an option to look at but not suitable for all, and again could be hit and miss depending upon your phone’s power save settings!

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There are a lot of options with presence, and all of them are sensitive to local issues, meaning that they will work very well for some people but not for others. Or might work well at your home but not at your office.

I myself use a wheelchair and ran into what I call the “bus stop problem.” This was when my presence was detected while I was still on the bus. Since it can take the driver several minutes to get me unloaded, events were triggering much sooner than I wanted them to. I ended up using two devices for presence in order to narrow the detection area.

The presence FAQ should be of interest. It discusses multiple methods, including the two device protocol. :sunglasses:

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Thanks guys - some late night reading required as ever.

Are you using Samsung phones?
I had to disable battery optimisation on my Samsung phone and that cured the problem.

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My Android phone works fine as a presence sensor but for some reason my wifes Iphone and my daughters iphone register as being at home even when they arent and the recent tab shows zero activity which is going to cause me marital strife.

I could never get the ST app based presence detection working reliably regardless of Android or iOS.

I moved to using the Life360 app and it solved all the problems. Life360 has not failed once for me. Very reliable.

Life360 is a great presence detector for ST.

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Do you have three separate SmartThings accounts, each one active on only one device?

If you are also signed into SmartThings on a tablet and a tablet stays home, that can throw everything off. Or if you used your own SmartThings account to sign in on your wife’s phone, that creates problems as well.

Also, the SmartThings presence App requires that the phone have Internet access and a data plan. We have had some community members in the past who had children with those that did not have a data plan and the presence feature did not work for those devices.

The following might be of interest:

My wife’s iPhone was logged in using my account so created an account for her and it appears to be working

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