Smartthings and IBeacons (discussion prior to 2015)

(Jason) #1

Estimate is doing a 3 IBeacon developer package for homes for 99$.

Something like this would be awesome to use with my phone or a jawbone and then smartthings would know where I am in my house at all times not just kind of guessing with motion sensors. There are many ways this could improve the automated house and add a huge plus to the smartthings Eco system. I hope smartthings takes notice or a developer as I have zero experience with coding.
Thanks Jason Dunn

(Jaydenaphillips) #2

This would be great! Of all things to add to Smart Things I think this would be one of the coolest. Right now if I am sitting very still on the main floor my lights will turn off. I also have to have a 20 minute delay before they turn off to keep it reasonable. With beacons I could do away with motion sensors and be more accurate. The price is also cheaper than motion sensors.

(Jason) #3

I see that Juan ( today’s developer spot light) has had experience with IBeacons and smartthings I hope he sees this post and has a chance to give us an idea of what he was able to do with them.

(esung) #4

There is no Bluetooth in ST hub, which makes ibeacon or any bluetooth integration tricky. Some support would be possible with smartphone in the scene, but I wish they would add BT communication to the hub so that BT works whether I’m around with my phone or not.

(Ronny Carr) #5

iBeacon integration wouldn’t really benefit from bluetooth in the SmartThings hub as you don’t carry the hub around with you in your house.

The iBeacons must know which you are closest to in order to provide any functionality, so the user will always need something on their person while in the home if they want it to follow them.

(Christopher Masiello) #6

@Ronny_Carr - Bluetooth in the hub would allow Smartthings to communicate to/from iBeacons. Your phone would still be the primary way for interfacing, but Smartthings could perform actions when your phone and specific iBeacons interact.
I think that bluetooth in the hub would allow SO MANY more devices to be added to the physical graph, let alone be controlled and trigger things.

(Ronny Carr) #7

I get that it would allow other devices, which is great and a must for hub v2, it’s just not necessary for the beacons. One dev actually has a proof of concept running with them and SmartThings.

(Joel T) #8

IBeacons interfacing directly to the hub wouldn’t be very productive, unless the hub was in a physical location where you wanted events to fire. Probably not usually the case. I think the same is true for many bluetooth devices. BT range isn’t that great. My ST hub is in my basement with my network, security panel, etc… bluetooth radio on the hub wouldn’t be very useful.

The point of an IBeacon is for a mobile device to see the beacon and report or do something via an app. IBeacons can provide better proximity detection than GPS, and they are often used inside a building where GPS is impractical.

IBeacon functionality would make more sense as part of the Smartthings mobile app, so that events could be generated as the person (phone) approaches a given Ibeacon. One at the front door, one in the bedroom, one in front of the TV and so on. A nice thing is that IBeacons aren’t permanently connected to a network. You can put one in your car, at your desk at work, etc. Your mobile app knows it’s in proximity to that beacon and could drive events through the system back home.

(esung) #9

BT range may not be very good, but I’m interested in ibeacons forming a mesh network and BT to be in it. If smartphone is not always required to be in the scene I could just use a bluetooth fitness tracker like jawbone up or fitbit (or iwatch?) to use ibeacon’s ‘indoor gps’ ability and trigger devices and what not. Perhaps we could make a desktop computer with BT to host the mesh and talk to ST all the time, so that the ibeacon would work all the time with or without a phone.

(Kyle ) #10

ive just been thinking about the possibilities of this now that we know HUB V2 will have bluetooth . . . the ability to track where in a room you are and who you are as a pose to just knowing someone is somewhere in the room is pricelss for HA :slight_smile:


Unfortunately that’s not how Ibeacons work–they don’t give you precise positioning. Instead, you capture events when you cross into a region. The difference is subtle but important.

This is a really old thread, see the current iBeacon thread below for more information.

(Kyle ) #12

@JDRoberts it gives you a much better control over occupancy of each individual than presence sensors and motion though which is a atep in the right direction :slight_smile:


True, as discussed at length in the other topic, we are using Ibeacons with SmartThings (v1 hub) now in our house. But it doesn’t give you position, just when you enter a region.

In order to keep the archives from getting too muddied, I will answer any other questions about what we’re doing in the newer topic. Please read the existing posts there, they’ll probably answer a lot of questions.

(Kyle ) #14

is the region say (within 1-2m) or larger ? and having used ibeacon do you reckon that is something that could be easily integrated into ST when bluetooth becomes available with V2 . . . knowing someone is within 1-2m (region) of something is near as good to knowing exactly where they are . . .