Reliable Presence SmartApp

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.

That’s ok…I just created a Master Virtual Presence device for my wife and a rule machine rule that does the following below. If ANY of these are true, it sets it Present or Away which essentially makes at least 2 out of the 3 sensors have to work right:

(Fob and ST Mobile) OR (Fob and Wifi Detection) OR (ST Mobile and Wifi Detection)

If 1 out of those 3 is true, it sets the correct state. I think this will work since Fob and ST mobile are so unreliable and now I am increasing my odds of one of them being right at a given time.


Sounds like it should work to me. Let us know.

Pretty sad that it has come to this that I’ve had to buy a fob for $35 and hack my router just to get mobile presence working for my wife’s phone. What is odd is it works 95% of the time with my phone. The only thing I haven’t done yet is completely wipe my wife’s phone out and have her rebuild it as she wont let me do that (I dont blame her). She has even replaced her physical phone a few times over the years.

@bridaus As reported in my new thread, my idea didn’t work out so well. Last night, my wife’s key fob was reported home, but her ST mobile app acted up and of course the Wifi Detection doesn’t stay sticky because I don’t have good wireless signal towards the rear of the house, so ST had her coming and going as my Rule Machine rule requires 2 sensors to be accurate and only 1 of the 3 was. I am going to try your app out and see if it works out better for me. I am still a little confused the way it works.

To summarize:

  • Her ST mobile app and both her presence fob have been unreliable where sometimes it has her away or home when she’s not actually away or home
  • The Wifi detection is reliable in only certain parts of the house due to poor wireless signal (I have a repeater in the rear of the house, so she drops off my WW-DRT router onto another access point that doesn’t support WW-DRT).

I have had the 3 running for the last 5 days and haven’t noticed when all 3 fail at the same time, it’s either 1 or 2 that fail. Will your smartapp help me in this situation?

On the phone, so sorry if I answer this twice. With the bouncing status, try to find a setting or app that ignores temporary changes. Maybe I should incorporate that into my app. Hmm.

Also, ST has a setting that won’t change presence for a period of time. I think the away setting. Can’t remember where it is…

The away timeout setting can be found in the IDE, under my Hub, utilities, presence time out. Right now I have it set to default 5 minutes.

I am not quite sure I understand your response for above though. So far your app has worked well for me on day 1, but needs to be tested more extensively. It sounds like in your smartapp here, if one of the 3 sensors is home, it will consider wife home,and if one of the sensors is away, it considered her away? I am not sure what you mean that you look at other events from the other sensors?

Sorry it took so long for me to reply, been crazy at work.

It works with events. So it only changes presence when an event happens on any of the sensors. It trusts that an active report by a sensor is true. It fixes the problems with “sticky” or non-reporting sensors, or ones that get left home (the most common problem I have had.)

Examples help.

Let’s say I have a kid with a fob in her backpack and a phone. She leaves for school in the morning with her fob and not her phone. It reports her away (correct, even with the phone home). Then she comes home, it reports her home. (Correct). Then she leaves at night to go shopping with her phone. Reports her away (correct). She arrives. Correct.

Another example: Girlfriend has the phone, and a fob. She always has both. The fob dies one day, or the phone gets sticky (both have happened). No matter what the other presence fixes the problem. If the phone is sticky, the fob sets her home or away.

Measurement is a specialty of mine. And one thing I have absolutely learned is that bad data is much worse than no data. This app depends on good data or no data. I don’t think there is a way to make an app that would handle bad data due to the fact that you can’t instrument your loved ones enough. The second or third fob is a little much… :smiley: