Self opening gate when near [NEEDS UPDATING]

hello, I’ve been using the “search” function but it didn’t solve my problem.
I’m quite new in the Smarthings world, but I like very much.
I’ve been using automations for some time now, and all work perfectly except one.
my Gate is smart, and can be opened with Alexa, and SmartThings. I tried creating an automation so that when I (or any member of my family) arrive at 250mt from the gate it’ll open automatically. there are 2 issues:
1- if for example I leave home at 8.00am (and open the gate manually from inside the house), the automation will automatically start at 8.01…this is very annoying, because the gate will stay open for hours (unless I go to the app and click “close”). I think this is because when I leave home the GPS will tell Smarthings that I’m less than 250 meters away, and then it’ll open. is there any way I can fix this? (this happens with all the members of my family.)
2- this happens only with my father’s phone: he has to wait like 10-20 seconds in front of the gate for it to open automatically…it’s like the GPS signal is delayed and slow.

i have an iPhone XS Max, my sister iPhone X, my. brother and father iPhone 7…all updated to the last FW.

hope you can help me, and I’m sorry for my bad English…but I live in Italy!

I’m not able to upload the screenshots from the app.

Actually your English is quite good! The apps location is notoriously bad. Have you considered using Life 360 integration as a presence sensor. It’s quite reliable and also uses a smaller geofence, been using it for some time now and it fires my automations correctly every time. For youre first issue, you could try adding a delay to the automation but of course that would also delay the automation when someone arrives. That’s quite tricky to work around

i see what you mean. but so your think that is the bad how the SmartThings app uses the GPS, and not the GPS of the phone it selves?
about the “dealying”: this Is not a bad idea…I think I’ll try this solution first!

1 Like

yes, i think the app presence sensor is trash. Had nothing but problems using it. when i switched to using Life 360 the difference was night and day, which at least to me, proved the issue was with the app not my phones GPS

1 Like

Something else to look into might be bluetooth beacons. These work by proximity rather than GPS location, so it may be more reliable/predictable.

I don’t know much about them, but @JDRoberts I believe uses them quite a bit so maybe he can give some more details.

1 Like

I use ibeacons and like them, but it can get a little complicated in a smartthings context.

LOCATION TRACKING Has different restrictions in different countries

First, we should say that any tracking of location is subject to local laws, and while the US doesn’t really care about this for private company apps, many European countries care a lot. So some of the options that are available in the US are not available in other countries.

Life 360 has worked very hard to get their service into as many countries as possible, although it will have different features in different countries because of these local privacy laws.

For example, it was not available in France the last time I looked. But the good news is it is available in Italy, although I don’t know if the smartthings Integration is available there. That’s why all these things get tricky.


The fact that the original poster has iPhones makes it all much easier. :sunglasses: I beacons just work better with iPhones because the integration is at the OS level. With android phones they tend to only work if the tracking app is open on the phone, not usually what you want for Geopresence.

Next, most of the integrations involve an Ibeacon “reader“ app which can use a webhook to communicate with something which can then communicate with smartthings.

People used to use IFTTT for the SmartThings integration, but that was back when it was free. Now that it has a monthly subscription fee it may not be as attractive.

Some other options would be MQTT or webcore, but to be honest I don’t know how to do it in either of those. What you would be looking for is “receive a webhook.“ (not send, but receive. The IBeacon reader app is going to do the send.)

Ibeacon Reader Apps

For a discussion of these that should be available in Europe, see the following thread:

iBeacons+iOS+SmartThings (UK) presence [updated in 2023]

Another iBeacon Alternative: use HomeKit as an intermediary

Another method is to use a HomeKit compatible app like myhome as the iBeacon reader app and have it turn on a hue bulb or Meross smart plug or another device that is visible to both smartthings and Homekit and have that device coming on trigger a smartthings event.

I use this method for some use cases. I have found it to be a little bit less reliable than the webhook method mostly because the ibeacon reader apps mostly come from one person companies and over time the person stops keeping up with changes to the OS and the app will stop working for a while. Or forever. :disappointed_relieved:

This one is still around:

Again if you write your own code you can do a lot more with this option, but I don’t anymore.



I like Ibeacons and use them in my own home, but that’s because I’m in a wheelchair and I really do need to have systems based on a 10 m detection zone. Or in some cases a 2 m detection zone.

You would think they would be simple, highly reliable, and easy to set up as triggers but it turns out that’s only true if you write your own code. Which I don’t anymore.

You can still detect them using some of the available third-party apps like Geofency or myhome, but just detecting them isn’t enough. In order to get smartthings integration, you need to have the app that detected them then have some way of notifying smartthings, and right now that mostly means using a webhook into yet another third-party app/service, and then having that trigger an event in smartthings.

It’s doable, but it’s a little fragile, and I don’t know if the work required is worth it to most people.

And all of the above only works with iPhones, android devices just don’t work well with this technology, which is why Google eventually abandoned the Eddystone project.

Most analysts seem to think that this technology will eventually be replaced with Ultra Wideband (UWB) for microlocation, and both the newest Apple Watch and the HomePod mini have UWB chips built in although you can’t do anything with them yet. So it looks like Apple may be coming to the same conclusion.

So I would say try life360 first and see if that works.

If it doesn’t and you want to look into I beacons you can do that using the links I’ve given above, but I would personally guess any project based on those would have to be redone in about two years when a newer technology takes over. So again, I don’t know if that would be worth it to most people. :thinking:

1 Like

thanks a lot! I’ll try first with lie360 which is the cheaper solution, and maybe in the future I’ll upgrade to ibeacon!
do you have any cheap beacon that is worth buying?

but I was thinking. is there a way to run automation with the trigger being “connected to Home Wifi?”
when I arrive in front of the gate, the phone automatically connect to the wifi…
is there a way to do this with iPhone?

I added the life360 Smartapp…but it didn’t solve anything! the problem is there yet.
but I noticed that when I create the automation it let’s me choose the life360 presence sensors as triggers…but as soon as I click “done” it looks like it just goes back to “use my position”.
I attach you 3 screenshots: 1. creating the automation, 2. the symbol looks like the one “use my position”, 3. it just says “when everybody home”, like it’s the normal ST geolocalication the trigger.Uploading: IMG_0766.jpg… Uploading: IMG_0767.PNG…

Yes, but it’s a little complicated on the SmartThings side.

It’s very easy to create a trigger for when you join a specific Wi-Fi network. That’s built into the iOS “shortcuts“ feature when you create a Shortcuts automation.

The problem is then getting that information to smartthings. Unfortunately, smartthings does not include shortcuts functionality. :disappointed_relieved:

So You basically have to do it the same way I described above with IBeacons and send a webhook to IFTTT (or another third party intermediary). Then that intermediary has to activate SmartThings.

So it can be done, but there are a lot of steps and it’s pretty technical.

Unfortunately, that seems to be a known error right now. :disappointed_relieved:

Do you by chance have an iphone? Several iphone users have been experiencing the same issue…havent seen anyone with an Android report it yet, however

1 Like

Yes, sadly I have an iPhone XS Max! And all my family has iPhones

But I have a question. If I get an android phone just for setting everything, will I still have this problem with Life360 as a presence sensor?
I have an old android lying around…I could use it to program ST…

they solved the “presence sensor seen as a gps position” problem, but sadly the system didn’t improve!
it opens fantastically when I arrive, but when I leave home it opens to, as soon as I get out of the “range” I set on life360 in the “home” position.