Smart Chair

This might go outside the boundary of what you’re trying to do, but I thought about using an Arduino with ThingShield and a simple 5v motion sensor to create some sort of presence sensor just for a single room or a desk area. You could write the code so that it reports motion events based on just a few seconds of motion/no motion, but wait for up to 5 minutes or so without motion to mark the room as not present.

Room occupancy based on a single motion sensor tends not to work in practice. Zone detection (multiple sensors) is good for turning lights on, but can still be tricky for triggering lights off.

The most accurate for room occupancy is probably a double trip beam where you can figure out which one tripped first and so distinguish coming from going.

Discussion of all of these here:

For a chair sensor, it depends on the exact use case. I disagree that pressure mats have to be bulky–they can be very thin and small, just a strip under the cushion. Coaster size, even. Often used in amateur robotics. Easy to make as well.

But certainly there are many use cases where an accelerometer or vibration sensor might work as well or better. :blush:

1 Like

A cheap way to create your own pressure sensor would be to use Velostat and conductive thread.

1 Like

I am there with you on that idea @tslagle13 . When the MAN comes to get us all for keeping our privacy in tacked and not letting them see our files! LOL!

1 Like

Which particular zwave contact sensor do you use/recommend best suited for this scenario?

Honestly any zwave contact sensor with contact headers for preexisting wiring will work, but i used the Fibaro Z-Wave Door/Window Sensor cause they come in a bunch of colors along with the Ideal Security SK630 Pressure Mat Alarm with Chime mat, its thin and relatively inexpensive. The Everspring Z-Wave Door/Window Sensor and the Ecolink door sensors should also work. I’m sure there are others but those are the ones i know have the headers. When i do this for my sofa cushions so my butt can turn on my entertainment system i’ll probably use the Everspring or Ecolink cause they are cheaper and won’t be seen.


Got it - thanks for providing such a quick & detailed response. I’m actually trying to figure out how to create a wireless enuresis sensor for the elderly. I’ve found a few sensors (which I assume are really just moisture detectors) but none seem to already be zwave or zigbee enabled (out of the box). Here’s a few I’ve found & am trying to determine if they’ll work with the contact sensors you’ve mentioned.

Yes, i think all 3 should work. Just run the 2 wire leads to the contact block. By default it will show open/close and not wet/dry but you can make some minor tweaks to the devicetype if you need it to show wet/dry or you can just use the apps that come SmartThings to be noticed when it closes… cause then its wet :wink:

I think our need is different but I use a SmartThings sensor on my recliner. I have it mounted to the foot rest. When I opened the foot rest it fires an event that turns off a light that glares in the TV then back on when lowered.


Just starting to drink my coffee, so the brain has not engaged yet.
HOWEVER, the first that that Female Brain did say was that there seems to be another path you want to explore.

  1. As a woman with a cold nature, I deplore cold chairs…brrrrrr.
  2. My purse can weigh as much as a newborn elephant.
    With that being said, what about a temperature probe embedded seat. A wire running from a ST sensor might detect enough change in temp if it is taped down across the both cheeks/thighs. A downside would be chairs that receive sunlight.
    Maybe a command that said "If temp rises at least X° within Y minutes of motion. ???

Just some decaffeinated thoughts. :wink:

1 Like

A little late here.
How about these guys.

There are a TON of these types of sensors, but they are not easily integrateable into ZWave or SmartThings.
We have done some work with Creatability Inc that actually did take a wheelchair pad (used to alarm if someone tried to get up or fell put) and tied it into a ZWave sensor. We are using it to track how often a patient stands as part of his therapy.

1 Like

@ashutosh1982 I been tossing around this idea of chair presence in regards to dining table lights and thought instead of putting the multi sensor on the chairs how about to monitor vibrations on the table when people put their elbows or arms on the dining table and it could turn on dining room lights. It would definitely save money, and could alleviate false positives if chairs are bumped accidentally. Thoughts on this guys?

My usual concern with occupancy detectors to turn on lights applies: me in a wheelchair. :sunglasses:

I realize people can make their own decisions about this (literally) edge case for their own homes, but anyone considering these kinds of systems for hotels, restaurants, and other public accommodations does need to take this into account. So just thought I’d mention it before you start planning investor presentations. :smile:

How do people get to the table if the lights aren’t on yet?


May be the kitchen or living room is right next to the dining room and those lights are on! :wink:

1 Like

Exactly, i mean i have all my lights on first floor set up to turn on with motion detectors and my kitchen is right next to dining table. My dining area is also right next to outside windowed door to backyard so at any point in time i can visibly see the table clearly. @JDRoberts Now you make a point, but only when it comes to my formal dining room which is toward the front of the house seperate from dining area, that room is set up with motion sensor lighting.

Another option is carry the non magnetic portion of a st multi in your back pocket…, or clip it on your boxers when in home! :wink: that will work! Hehehe!


Wouldn’t a motion detector on the underside of the dining table be easier?

I think another way to check the temperature of a chair, its basically a termopar between the fabrics and the person, it can be along all the seat to avoid black holes, with a reference temperature you could check how much changes. there are some zwave sensors with a termopar terminals

1 Like