Use SmartCam's Motion Sensor with SmartThings

So you got that fancy new Samsung SmartCam HD Pro and want to use its built in motion sensor with SmartThings? Can’t seem to find it the settings? Unfortunately, SmartThings hasn’t been able to grab the built in Motion Sensor yet. Good news everyone! We can still use it to trigger things in SmartThings!

Now, more than likely, you’ll want to use a second, rarely used Android device for this but your primary Android device will be able to do this as well. It may just become annoying.

First we need a couple of apps. The first is the Samsung SmartCam App. Next is trusty Tasker. Another is AutoNotification, this will be very valuable for grabbing the Samsung SmartCam App’s notification. The last is SharpTools, this will be used to trigger a Virtual Motion Sensor.

Now that we have all of that downloaded and installed, it’s time to set this bad boy (or girl) up. First we need to make sure we have “Event Alert” and “Motion Detection” check marked in the Samsung SmartCam App. This will create a notification on our device for AutoNotification to then intercept.

To create the Virtual Motion Sensor, go to the Web IDE. Your account may be on NA01 or on NA02. Select My Devices. Select New Device in top right corner. Give it a Name, I called mine Camera Motion. Give it a Device Network ID, I gave mine CM01. Under Type, select Simulated Motion Sensor. Select the Location and Hub that this will be tied to. Select Create.

Next, we need to setup Tasker to intercept the notification with AutoNotification and have it actuate a Virtual Motion Sensor.

Let’s open up Tasker. (I’m assuming you’ve gone through the initial setup of Tasker. If you need help with that, check out the giant wiki or I can create a new post. Let me know in the comments.) We’re going to tap the Plus(+) button at the bottom right. We’re going to select Event as our “trigger”. Tap Plugin. Tap AutoNotification. Tap Intercept. Tap the Pencil Icon in the top right. Under Apps, check SmartCam and tap OK. Under Action Type select Created and under Persistency Type select Non-Persitent, this way we only actuate the Virtual Motion Sensor in SmartThings whenever a new notification is created by SmartCam. We can leave it at that for now or we can beef it up a bit. If you don’t want to beef it up, skip the next paragraph.

To beef up this notification interception, we’re going to add some filters in the rule. Under Notification Title, we’re going to type in “Motion Detection, sans quotes. Check Exact. What this does if any other notifications from SmartCam get created, this Tasker task ignores them.

Now that we’re done, tap the check mark in the top right corner. This then brings us to the Task creation. If needed, scroll up and tap New Task. Call it whatever you’d like, I called mine SmartCam Notification. Tap the Plus(+) in the bottom middle. Tap Plugin. Tap Sharptools. (This next section assumes you’ve setup Sharptools. If you need help with that, here are the official instructions or I can create another post. Let me know in the comments.) Tap A Thing. Select Simulated Motion Sensor. Make sure our newly created Virtual Motion Sensor is select under Select the device…. Make sure active is the command selected to be sent. Tap Apply. Congrats! Your SmartCam can now notify SmartThings when it sense Motion.

But wait! If we leave it at that, the Virtual Motion Sensor will always show Motion. We need to make it go Inactive. We can do this in the very same Task that we have open. Tap that Plus(+) at the middle bottom. Tap Task. Tap Wait. Now, the timing here is entirely up to you. I chose 5 seconds for the Wait time. Once you’ve got your Wait time setup, tap the back button.

Let’s get that Virtual Motion Sensor inactive. Tap the Plus(+) in the middle bottom. (You knew I was gonna say that, didn’t you?) Tap Plugin. Tap SharpTools. Tap A Thing. Tap the Pencil Icon. Select Simulated Motion Sensor. Make sure our Virtual Motion Sensor is select under Select the device…. Make sure inactive is the command selected to be sent. Tap Apply.

That’s it! We’re done! We now can make the SmartCam Motion Sensor trigger the Virtual Motion Sensor in SmartThings. Set up your SmartApps to your hearts desire.

Optional: I like to keep my notification tray clean. I don’t actually need to know when SmartCam’s Motion Sensor is going off unless my Virtual Motion Sensor is trigger Smart Home Monitor. In that same task we just created, we can have AutoNotification clear out the SmartCam’s Notifications. Tap the Plus. Tap Plugin. Tap AutoNotification. Tap Cancel. Tap the Pencil. Under Apps, select SmartCam. We can Title Filter it like we did above. Tap the checkmark, top right.


Would this basic approach work with an Android phone as the camera, using one of the available mutton detector apps?

You totally could. What you need to do is have AutoNotification intercept the notification from the camera app you’re using (the app must create a notification) and then have SharpTools actuate the Virtual Motion Sensor. You could also have AutoNotification clear out the app’s notification as shown in my optional portion to continue to get new notifications.

And if you’re running an Android as your camera, I would recommend running all the code on that Android itself for quicker response time.

Give it a try and let us know what app you’re using and how it works!

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Thanks for the quick reply. I have several auto apps, but not autonotification. When researching it, I found a YouTube review of “Motion Detector” that uses intents to communicate with Tasker. Would you know, and be able to explain, whether either approach has advantages/disadvantages?

If you could link the YouTube video, I’ll take a look at it and let you know. You can find most Apps intents either if they offer in the App itself or by using a custom App Launcher like Nova.

TL;DR about intents are the ability for Apps within the Android OS to send direct commands from one to another. It potentially is simpler and the much more preferred way of having Apps communicate with one another. An example of how I use intents is based upon my phone’s battery and whether or not it’s charging, changes the power profile my kernel is running under.

Great! Here are two videos from the same reviewer.

Motion Detector App Review

Motion Detector Integration with Tasker

I’m searching for the right app. This one would appear to be good, except it concerns me that, since these reviews were done, the author of the app has mysteriously changed and it went from free to $3.33 without any evaluation period.

I have to educate myself a lot more on inter-app communication. I have the paid version of Nova, so I’ll look into what you said about it. Thanks again.

Took a quick look at it. As long as the app works as advertised, then it will definitely be able to trigger the Virtual Motion Sensor in SmartThings via SharpTools. Use the “Intent Received” Event function and input the Intent the app sends out. Then use the rest of the steps in my tutorial and it will work.

It looks like Nova may have removed the Intents finder, I couldn’t find it in a quick look through. Regardless, I picked up the app really quick and the Intent is “org.motion.detector.ACTION_GLOBAL_BROADCAST”, sans quotes.

Here’s Tasker’s guide on using Intents:

Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.

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