Presence in 2023, including multiple members and multiple locations

This may or may not be helpful but I set up ST virtual presence sensors for both my parents and am triggering those through location based routines in google home. Their google home accounts have access to ST but they dont use it for anything else. Here’s a link to the discussion


Thank you Terri, due to everyone in the house using different O/s phones not using google home nor ST on all devices the google route will not work in our scenario

I think for now i am going to have to admit defeat on automating STHM

Thank you

Yes, linked places would be perfect but it’s not available with IOS phones

I connect to this thing that I use too, saying that I made 3 virtuals for each person:

  1. geolocation ST
  2. geolocation GH
  3. official presence sensor: with routines it considers the last change of status reliable.

I did this because often on my wife’s phone, either google home doesn’t work, or smartthings doesn’t work… this way if one of the two works, everything works.

13 posts were merged into an existing topic: Unable to join channels (25 Jan 2023)

I can confirm that Alexa solution works well for multiple household members as long as each member has a SEPARATE SmartThings account. While you can link separate Alexa accounts to the same ST account, one will always be the active and the other will timeout.

So here is my setup:

  • Separate Alexa accounts (but in the same household) on each phone (one Android and one iPhone)
  • Separate ST accounts on each phone (but members of the same location)
  • ST Virtual presence sensors for each member using vEdge Creator from @TAustin
  • An arrival and departure Alexa routine for each individual on their respective phones that turns the virtual presence sensor on/off for that individual
  • ST Routines that react to the state of the virtual presence sensor for one or more individuals

While there are several moving parts here, I don’t think it’s anymore complicated than it was with Life360. ST also seems to receive the state change very quickly from Alexa making for a snappy SmartHome experience (I like my doors unlocked when I get home :slight_smile: ) And by using a virtual presence sensor, it will be very easy to change out the underlying detection mechanism should Life360 come back or ST presence becomes more reliable, etc, etc.


So here’s how I am doing presence detection now with the loss of 360 on Smart Things and Smartthings dismal presence detection.

I used a Libre S905x and setup Home Assistant on it. In the Home Assistant world I can still use Life360 as presence detection. It also has the ability to interface with my Linksys mesh system to detect phones arrival and departure by their connecting and disconnecting from WiFi.

Home Assistant uses these 2 inputs to leverage presence. It relays the result by having a routine in Home Assistant the uses the presence to toggle 2 edge virtual presence devices in Smartthings. You can connect Smartthings to Home Assistant and control Smartthings devices in both environments. This has it’s limitations but this method of toggling the virtual presence has been reliable for us. It all operates in the background and uses my Life360 login to track location of my family.

This works great.
One detail ,each phone that runs Alexa app and smarthings must have smarthings skill enabled in the Alexa app.
I missed that on my wife’s phone first time but figured it out.
Thanks for a great solution for presence.


For those that don’t have Alexa, you can use IFTTT in a similar fashion now that the integration with ST has returned. Like Alexa integration, each user would need a separate Samsung account and IFTTT account on their phone and IFTTT routines would be used to turn on/off their respective virtual presence sensors.

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Not quite sure I’m trying to get the same result but here’s my problem on IOS.

I have a home location and would like a automation that if I leave my work geofence location that my heating comes on.
I have a work location as a “coupled location” but greyed out with the text “You can only use coupled locations if all members that you selected use a Galaxy device.”

Is there a way that I can trigger my heating automation when I leave work at a certain time?

No Alexa or others here, IFTTT I can use.

Create a virtual presence sensor in ST and use that in IFTTT to track when you are at work and when you aren’t. You can then trigger your heating automation based on the virtual presence sensor state.


Will look into this, thanks!

Thank you! I’m going to try this out. And thanks to @TAustin for his excellent drivers.


For iOS users…

At our house, we find that HomeKit presence is reliable and smartthings presence is not.

So we use a physical device which is visible to both platforms as a proxy. We turn it on in HomeKit, and then it shows up as being on in smartthings, and we can trigger routines from that.

No custom code is required, and you don’t need to have a SmartThings/aeotec hub.

So it’s a very simple, straightforward method, although you do need to buy an additional physical device.

We use the meross power strip, which gives us four individual sockets, to use as proxies. It may even be useful to you as a smartplug if there’s one that you want on whenever you’re home and off whenever you leave.

Anyway, here’s a how-to article I wrote about that method if it’s of any interest:

How to Use a Meross Plug to Use HomeKit Presence to Trigger ST Routines

The biggest advantage to this approach is how simple it is to set up. :sunglasses: :electric_plug:

What a great idea - presence sensing has never been great for me using a ST hub and Google Home. What is everyone’s suggestions on the best way to get this going with:

Android Phones
ST Hub
Google Home
Phillips Hue
TP Link Deco Mesh system

I have had a look through each, GH and ST aren’t reliable and I have tried all the settings etc. Hue seems accurate however lacks customisable routines. I can trigger a automation when a phone connects ton the Deco WIFI however can only control things connected and visible in the Deco app. I can’t see a way to import virtual devices into Deco.

Next best thing I can see is to trigger a routine when a TP Link Smart switch does something (after the phone connects to deco WIFI). Only issues is that I use all the smart switches already and worried they won’t maintain their previous state after a phone connects to the WIFI.

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This is my routine that isn’t triggering based on my location - does this look right?

I have tested the automation by using deco app to turn on a tapo smart plug when my phone connected to the wifi. (So I can create another automation in smartthings app to trigger arrive or leave home based on tapo smart plug status.)

I can confirm that it worked, but there was a liitle glitch last night. If my phone (s23 ultra) was inactivity for a while, the deco app thought that my phone has lost a connection to wifi. Later that an automation in smartthings has been running leave home.

I tried to figure it out but I can’t find the cause. So now I switched it back to location service in smartthings.

Have you try delete "after being away for … " ?

I thought that condition was not reliable.

Hey sirbirus - thanks for your help. Il give that a go and I might use the deco as a backup.

I’ll let you know how it goes.


Hello, sorry if this is not related, but for some reason my Edge virtual devices keep going on and off and I have not left the house. My routines keep firing and my location has not changed. Seems the location of members in ST stop working a few days ago and now my routines are telling me I’m away and then returning and nothing has change with my location.