Tasker/Sharptools, Does subscribing to a state change eat your battery

I am setting up Tasker and Sharptools and want to subscribe to our Mobile Presence devices and basically have my wall mounted (battery powered only) tablet turn on (to SmartTiles) when someone arrives home.

I believe I set it up right and just need to test it but my question is will this eat up my battery alot? Is it constantly checking the state? Tagging @joshua_lyon in this :smile:


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Thanks for the great question! SharpTools will not eat your battery when you subscribe to an attribute. The attribute subscription feature leverages the SmartThings cloud for detecting state changes and sends push events to your phone when the state of a subscribed attribute changes. As such, SharpTools is very easy on the battery!

I probably have 5-10 attributes subscribed and SharpTools doesn’t even show up in the list of apps impacting the battery. (eg. it’s using less than 1% of the battery).

For those who aren’t familar with SharpTools, it’s a set of Widgets and Tasker Plugins for Android. You can do some cool things like subscribe to attributes of your Things and react in Tasker. For example, you could subscribe to a motion sensor on your front porch and have it trigger a notification on your Android phone prompting you if you want to unlock the front door.


SWEET! If it works I will be setting up more, if it doesn’t you may hear back from me :smile:

Thanks for your fast response!

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The motion detection app is battery hog so watch out for that if you are going to use it for auto awake.

Thanks. Right now we just push the button but I would like it to turn on when someone arrives home letting whoever is already home know that someone has arrived

Ok @joshua_lyon I might need a little help. So basically as I said I want to turn on my tablet when any of the 3 of our phones switches to “present”.
I tested this on my wifes phone but it did not work, I may know why but just want to verify I set it up right.
I went into SharpTools and “subscribed” to her Phone. I then went into Tasker and under Profiles I added a new Event>Plugin>SharpTools>ThingState. The Thing name I set to her phone and (I think this is where I messed up) Attribute I set to her phone. Should this be set to “presence” as the attribute?
I then add a new action Plugin>SecureSettings and choose “Wake Device”, then choose “IF” %st_attrib_value ~ present
Does that seem right? I have to wait until she leaves and comes back again to see if changing the attribute to “presence” was the problem.
I am duplicating this on my phone so I can check when I get home too.


Yes, this seems right. You can leave either (or both) of the fields in the Thing State event blank and it will treat that like a wildcard. You can also use a partial name in the Thing Name field. For example, if you put “Presence” in for the Thing Name then it would match things named “Wife’s Presence”, “My Presence”, “Presence of Daughter”, etc for the things.

You can either leave the attribute field blank or you can use “presence” since that’s what you subscribed to. Since you would already be filtered down to only events generated by your wife’s phone and there is only the one presence attribute, it’s probably easiest just to leave the attribute field blank. But if you did want to put a filter in, you would want to make sure it was the “presence” attribute.

And it sounds like you got the second part right as well except for a typo… the action in the profile would be the actual action you want to take and you can use the IF section of the action to make it conditional upon the %st_attr_value ~ present (note the use of attr instead of attrib).

Here’s an article on some common things to check for when setting up conditional actions:

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Thanks, I typed it wrong here but had it right in Tasker.

So If I “subscribe” to all 3 phones and in the Thing State section just leave both fields blank it will trigger with any phone, right? This would be idea so I don’t have to setup 3 different tasks :smile:
Then I would still only need one Action with the IF “%st_attr_value ~ present” right? That would get triggered with any phone changing to present, right?

This is cool stuff!

Thanks for your help,

I have a similar setup with Sharptools and Tasker waking up my tablet. However, I have it set so that the tablet turns on and off based on the state of a z-wave light switch. This switch is turned on and off via a motion detector. Therefore, the tablet is only on when someone is in that particular room and for a short time after motion stops. Works great. By the way, while it is sleeping the tablet still responds to other sharptools/tasker profiles. I use mine for my doorbell sound.


I am guessing I could also setup a Virtual Switch that is triggered by a motion detector to do the same thing, right? I was using the motion detector app on the tablet but as Navat604 says it kills the battery fast, this method would take the battery use off the tablet. This is a fantastic idea!!
I bought 2 PEQ motion detectors during the Best Buy sale and wasn’t sure what I was using them for yet.
I have 2 tablets to setup so there is a use for 2 of the motion detectors :smile:

EDIT: DOORBELL! There goes my 3rd motion sensor…lol

Yes, but keep in mind that this will match attribute changes from ALL things and attributes you are subscribed to. For testing, this is usually OK, but as you get into using SharpTools you will probably find other fun and interesting uses and will probably subscribe to more attributes.

I would recommend at least setting one of the fields… for example, you might set the attribute field to “presence” so the profile would only trigger when presence attributes change.

I put together a really quick video which I’ve included below. I went through everything pretty quickly, but hopefully it’s helpful.

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FYI the only way I could get tasker to wake up the tablet was to have it trigger a popup alert. But, I am a novice with tasker and somebody with more experience may have a better way.

@ErnieG thanks. I am trying with Secure Settings and 'Wake Device" but if that doesnt work at least I have another option.
@joshua_lyon AHHHH, that makes perfect sense as soon as you said it. As I was reading I was thinking I could set the Attribute to presence and the Name blank…so I am learning and we are on the same page.

I am a visual kind of person so thanks so much for the video. I now have alot of work ahead of me…but it will be fun. All kinds of ideas are popping thru my head. I originally bought the 2 android tablets for SmartTiles but now can think of a few other additions.

Thanks so much!

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Looks like I got it working. As @ErnieG said I had to use a popup alert as Secure Settings “Wake Device” did not work. I even got it to beep twice to audibly notify us of someone arriving home. I could have it speak too but that may freak my wife out so I will just stick with the beep for now.

This works great…thanks for all the help!


Thanks for the update, Scott! I’m happy to hear it’s working well!

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Glad to hear you got it working (Secure Settings didn’t work for me either). My wife and I had some fun with presence alerts and picked out theme music for each of us to play once we are within the geofence. I also have the tablet speak alerts if doors are left open for a period of time or if water sensors are triggered. I also use the popups for these alerts for visual notification. Although I find Tasker a little tough to setup the results are great. My next Tasker/Sharptools project will be to trigger alerts and view ip camera through PIP on tv.

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Thanks. My wife is still getting use to it so I am trying not to change things around much at first. This wasn’t her idea and to be blunt, I am trying not to piss her off…lol

Thanks for all your help and ideas.

I’ve seen some really cool Chromecast dashboards put together with Tasker and AutoCast. While it wouldn’t be PIP, it would be really cool to setup a Chromecast dashboard that displayed some key information from your smart home and maybe even some camera video feeds.


That really cool, very creative.

Very cool. That is way beyond my capabilities. I was happy just being able to see Smarttiles on the Xbox for my device status. My issue is that my ideas exceed my abilities, especially if any programming is involved. So I have to look for solutions that I am capable of implementing. For the PIP alerts I mentioned above, I will be relying on the Kickstarter project Anymote. Anymote already has a Tasker plugin. With Anymote, Tasker and Sharptools I should be able to have ST and my AV equipment communicate. I am also toying with the idea of using Eventghost (which I have never used) to capture ir codes from my older harmony remote to toggle lights and trigger scenes. Thus, I can achieve what the more expensive Harmony Home Control is supposed to do.