Smart things Presence Sensor per room?

I love smart things presence sensors but I wish they were better…

I have about 10 - 15 plugs and a bunch of smart plugs in my house. z-wave and zigbee work in mesh networking conditions right…

I am not 100% certain which one these use but I do know the plugs extend the detection range of the presence sensor as I had a problem and was told to buy more plugs by the support team as a solution when I only had the sensors.

Why is it that the sensor can’t ping back to the nearest plug and from there we then know where the sensor is?

Thats great thinking to be fair but depends if the zigbee mesh network has he capability to aknowledge what is passing through as a pose to actually been controlled - good thinking though - od be intreagued to see peoples replies who are more knowlegable on the subject

The SmartThings presence sensor (which is zigbee) doesn’t know where it is. And the network only knows whether it has recently connected to the network or not. There’s no actual locator function for the presence sensor. There’s just a “recently talked to the hub” and “hasn’t talked to the hub for a while.”

So there’s no “room” concept involved with this particular device. The following thread should help explain further:

Ok so why not have a new device that does? I am happy to replace them with something that would…

This is a great question which comes up often. In fact most recently just three days ago. :sunglasses: See the following thread for discussion of micro-location:

hmmm that one is trying to use bluetooth… I think zigbee / zwave (whichever is used) is better suited with the number of outlets I have hence the question

@JDRoberts i think he meant . . . Does it know its connected to the hub via for instance a plug acting as a repeater or just that it connected to the hub because it connected “somewhere” on the mesh network non specific . . . Based on the fact if it knew it has used a plug as a repeater you would be in a certain area as a pose to another :slight_smile: interesting question but i agree i dont know of it working that way…

The thread linked to from that thread (again, this has been a very common question) covers devices of many different types and protocols.

But the short answer is no, you will not be able to do this just with your existing Z wave and Zigbee plugs.

Zigbee and zwave in home automation are both intended for very inexpensive devices passing around very small messages. They just don’t have either the processing power or the self-awareness to do micro location processing. The message being passed around does not include the information about which interim device has done the relaying.

It can be done using the “wasp in a box” concept based on contact sensors. That’s still not using the repeaters though. It’s just using the fact that the contact sensor has a known location.

Again, this is discussed in the other threads. :sunglasses:

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its definitely possible with zigbee… Freescale wrote a white paper on it…

It has also been tested in a lab…

Zigbee, sure. That’s essentially the same logic as the IBeacon options, just a different protocol.

But that’s not the same as saying you can use it with the existing plugs that you have now. Those use the zigbee home automation profile. The Freescale solution does not.

It also requires that each person be within distance of three repeaters at the same time wherever they go through the house. That gets pretty expensive pretty fast.

You can see MN1 is in the vicinity (within its transmission radius) of three static nodes, so it is able to estimate its position using a multilateration technique, which can be based on range measurements taken using received signal strength indicator (RSSI) or by measuring the angle of arrival (AOA). AOA implies the use of multiple antennas, so that’s why using range measurement based on RSSI is simpler and lower cost.

Zigbee has a lot of flexibility and there are many different profiles that can be used with it. They cannot all communicate with each other.

The Freescale one requires custom hardware and custom software. So again, you can’t use it with the SmartThings plugs that you already own.

The location repeaters that Freescale is proposing are not also acting as on/off switch is or dimmers or relays. All they’re doing is acting as part of the location system.

So basically you’d have to add three new zigbee devices in every zone Plus one to be carried by every person. It’s possible, if you want to try it. But you won’t have any way of integrating it with smartthings unless you also add a communication component to your location system. (Again, smartthings uses the zigbee home automation profile.)

So you’re still not repurposing the devices you already have. There are a lot of people who would love to see this feature, it’s just not there right now.

I have been doing a ton of testing with specific user in room presence. I have tried a bunch of ibeacons and tons of different apps. I have written my own app and the issue is the slow connect time with the ibeacons. They can take up to more than a minute to connect. That causes a bunch of problems.

The only way to get perfect detection is to use a combination of ibeacons and motion sensors. The SmartThings app would need to be able to detect ibeacons and update the system with that status of that phone.

There are some home presence sensor smart apps on this site that use multiple sensors to detect presence. They are a combination of motion detection and door contact sensors.

From all of my reading and testing, the motion and door contact sensors are the best way to detect presence in a room. It is not the best, but there needs to be more technology adoption by the SmartThings app to get this to be a more robust solution.

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If you have an iOS device, the third party app SmartRules (a nice rules engine app that costs about $10) has a $2 add on that can detect IBeacons and use them as a device with SmartThings. Quite a few community members use it and like it. I found it well worth the money. :sunglasses: ( They are working on an android version, but don’t have one yet. )

Or if you use an iBeacon app which can do an http:// POST, you can use the IFTTT maker channel to connect to SmartThings. I use IBeacons quite a bit, and I also like the beacon sandwich app because it has a nice Apple Watch option ( it can’t track your location by the watch, but you can use voice commands with it and get notifications). So that’s another easy way to include I beacons with SmartThings.

You are of course right that there can be some delay. So they work better for some use cases than for others. I like them because I can set them to a very narrow detection range which meets some of my needs very well. :sunglasses:

I think microlocation presence is one of those things where different people can have very different requirements depending on the exact set up of their house. The number of different people come in and out, whether those people typically always carry their phones with them, the specific architecture, the budget, etc. are all factors that vary a lot.

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