SmartSense Presence needed?

(Caleb) #1

With the recent changes made to this, I am just wondering how much or less are these useful right now? the original plan when I pledge for a few packs was to get more of the original one…but since now the situation is changed…guess the things I am going to get will be a bit different.

NOTE: This is a version of the SmartTag that only provides presence detection. In order to provide suitable battery life, it DOES NOT provide temperature, angle in 3 axis, movement or vibration. For those functions, please select the SmartSense Multi, below.


Originally, this could be done much more, but now as it is just a presence tag, wouldn’t a smart phone with wireless could be it already? (I know people will say not everyone have one…but I’m sure even a kid could have a smartphone with wireless with them right now)
I know it is good for dogs/cats, but what else can we do with it?

And for the SmartSense Multi, I guess we could use this as a presence tag as well then? As the software just need to detect a signal from it to figure out presence or not?

(Joel) #2

At CES via Techcrunch video,  Alex mentions that you can use your phone to detect presence in smartthings. YouTube time link

This got me excited. I’d rather not have to wear a presence tag :slight_smile: but i think it’s more for pets.

(Nicholas Hagen) #3

I am hoping to use it to connect to my zwave door lock to auto lock and unlock it on presence. Smart phones are nice but don’t have a persistent awareness without killing battery. I’m hoping this will just work.


(Cory S) #4

Yeah, I’m kind of wishing I hadn’t wasted a couple of my things on the presence sensors. Mine and my Wife’s phone connects to WiFi consistently as soon as we pull into the driveway, that would had worked just as well as a keyfob.  I guess I will use them on the Pet’s collars but I am thinking that will throw off a lot of false positives as our yard is rather large.

(Eric Schuld) #5

I’m still excited for the presence tags. I was a little bummed to see them split - but hey - we only have their judgement on how to go about making the items at this point as none of us have the actual items yet.

That said - I am personally more interested in keeping that portion of my system off my phone. Battery life could be an issue. Additionally, I don’t think my phone snaps onto my wifi the very second I get home. It seems to me, that very frequently, when I get home and check my email - the 3G icon is still on my screen. It isn’t until I unlock my phone and trigger it to check my email - that it then looks for and connects to the wifi. Now maybe it’s actually connected before that point - and maybe it’s due to the fact that I think it only checks my mail every 15 minutes… but - I think the presence tag would be the more accurate way to go.

Now again - this is all speculation - as we don’t have the equipment yet to try on our own.

(Joel) #6

I have an S3 4G and always have bluetooth and wifi on. Although I use Juice defender which keeps my 4G radio in check. I don’t have battery issues so will hopefully be able to use that for presence.

I guess it depends on your phone.

(Cory S) #7

My GS3 also always makes it home with a healthy charge, an dmy wife is usually pretty good about that as well…it would happen so rarely it wouldn’t be an issue.


I am also active on the Android development community, so I feel comfortable getting things to talk wouldn’t be a big issue. It may even work better being the presence tags have a range of 60ish feet, and my phone can connect to wifi much further than that.

(Caleb) #8

yea…or maybe adding a bluetooth to wifi bridge between our mobile and the hub.

the bluetooth 4.0 have low energy feature, and mine will be connected to SmartWatch anyway, so I guess this would be a nice option too :slight_smile:

(Andrew Urman) #9

Interestingly enough, some great use cases came out of the CES experience.  Most notably, cars! Something we kind of take for granted, but knowing if your car is home or not is quite important. Another great point which Eric mentioned is privacy/battery. The iOS app uses the built in location services to determine the position of the phone. Not accurate to determine which room you’re in, but whether you’re within a certain range of your home.

I have plenty of friends who have location services disabled on their phones. Whether for privacy reasons or battery concerns, we would like to have options available to everyone. Parents have also voiced interest in tagging items like backpacks or things clever teenagers cannot disable.

At this point, Bluetooth will most likely be an add on to the SmartThings system. Because of the multiple protocols we will support at launch, the amount of on board radios would begin to interfere with each other. Something like Caleb talked about is a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi bridge. I can guarantee that we consider the best option available within feasible limits and within FCC requirements. Surpassing customer expectations and pushing the limits is what SmartThings is all about.

As with majority of our products, if a developer or hacker can do it better, we’d LOVE to hear about it! No judgments in brainstorming!

(Pmsmaker) #10

I believe w/Eric that my Phone does not switch over the Wi-Fi right away.

  • maybe a signal strength issue.

I plan to use the Presence for sure until I find otherwise.

(Andrew Urman) #11

Interestingly enough psmaker, I’ve found almost all of my mobile devices take longer to find and connect to my Wi-Fi network and a long period to completely leave my wifi network.

I wonder if its related to signal strength or some sort of sleep mode phones go in to conserve battery life? This is complete speculation, but phones could put there Wi-Fi modules in a sort of “sleep mode” when not connected to a network. Then do an active scan at a slower rate. So your device won’t connect to your network until you are in range and then wait to connect until the next scan is complete.


(Cory S) #12

I can’t speak for iPhones but Android phones have a configuration file which has a poll rate when not connected to WiFi. Some manufactures set this higher than others. I’ve seen some as high as 300 seconds, and others as low as 10 seconds.

(Alexander Lash) #13

I’m not terribly familiar with Android devices so I can’t comment - actively maintaining a WiFi connection is fairly expensive, power-wise, and if you’re a mobile device and don’t expect to receive anything off of WiFi you’ll try to keep that radio off as much as possible - after all, any incoming push data can just go in via cellular which you have to leave on to receive calls/texts anyways, right?

Interesting data at:

My iPhone 5 (and previous iPhones) does not autojoin my home wireless passively and it will disassociate when asleep - I’ll test this in greater detail with SNMP to get more precise timings. The phone will not disassociate if plugged in to power - this is so that iTunes wireless sync can work.

The only way to trigger association is to request data. Generally speaking, an application cannot request data if it isn’t running in the foreground - a closed app has 10 minutes to finish up whatever it’s doing, maximum - but there’s a trick:

Apps that are responding to a geofence notification (such as SmartThings) are treated as if they had just been launched and closed. The app then has (as far as I can tell) 10 minutes to do whatever it wants - such as ping the SmartThings cloud which will trigger a wifi connection - the app can query the OS to find out what SSID it’s connected to (Captive Network and Reachability classes, specifically) and report that to SmartThings - although, really, the best thing would be for SmartThings to monitor the local router with SNMP and fire alerts when devices connect or disconnect - this would be great for tracking guests, unauthorized use, etc.

You’d get one ping when you’re generally in range - GPS-based geofencing - and another ping when you’re actually on the WiFi - generally closer to the router / closer to being inside. For example, since my wireless network doesn’t reach the ground floor, I could have the heater start when I’m in geofencing range but the lights don’t turn on until I’m in WiFi range.

(Andrew Urman) #14

I’ve had all sorts of issue with Wi-Fi not joining when I come back in range and being a huge battery hog. I almost never have my Wi-Fi turned on.

We will use the built in location services to geofence an area around your home to act exactly like the smart tags.

(Dan) #15

With a daughter coming up on getting her driver’s license, I’ve ordered a presence tag to leave in each vehicle as a double-check. I believe that will allow me to give her a little more lattitude with parental oversight. For example, if I’m away and she wants to go somewhere, I can tell her to have the car home by a certain time and SmartThings will tell me exactly when the car comes and goes.

(Andrew Urman) #16

Most of us have SmartSense tags in our cars. Cool for telling who’s at the office. Make sure you don’t tell your kids where the tag is! They could return home and leave the tag :stuck_out_tongue: