Easiest way to determine presence?

I searched "presence" on HPM and a ton of results came up. There seems to be ways to determine presence with "presence sensors" which I cannot find online for Z-Wave, only motion/light sensors. Theres ways to use your phone with a bluetooth gateway of some kind, GPS, apps.

I saw the Hubitat app on the Android Playstore has 2.5 stars and most complaints are about location/GPS not working correctly.

For a noob, what is the best way to determine presence right now? I would prefer to base it off my phone. What Hub app and Android app is everyone using for that?

Reliable presence is the holy grail of home automation. I had a lot of success with Life360 but have since moved away from it. There's a nice built-in integration and it works pretty reliably as long as it's configured correctly on the phone.

My household does not like to be "tracked" with "spyware" so I use a combination of LAN-based presence methods. They're reliable but I have long timeouts to avoid false alerts. The good part is they don't require an agent on the phone, just a fixed IP.

Both methods are "home/not home" not location within the home.


Not seen any zwave ones, but I've been using the millimetre radar sensors and they are pretty good.

Guess it depends if you want "in the house" or "in location in the house".

I use a mmr to turn on all of my office equipment and keep it on until I leave the room. Works 100%


I have the much coveted ST presence fobs. They work great combined with Life360 driving a virtual presence device.
Sadly they are NLA and the jerks on eBay ask stupid money for them.

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I like mine too. They just work...for a month or so. :slight_smile: Yes, I know, aa battery hack, but I like the high on the windshield location where they are now, for range.

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I use a combination of things. For me that has been the best option. I had been relying on the Alexa app presence as my go to presence sensor. It was very reliable until it wasn't. Twice it has stopped working in the last year or so. Each time after an update and the next update got it working again. The HE mobile has about a 80% success rate.

So I also added GeoFency, So using the HE GeoFency app along with Alexa app and HE mobile app and wifi presnce it has been very reliable.

I am using an IPhone but most of this is available for Android as well, I believe.

I recently came over from SmartThings where I very successfully used WebCoRE geofencing for presence, mode-setting and many other functions. Since moving to Hubitat, I’ve continued using it. I’ve found that both ST’s and HE’s geofencing to be too unreliable to use.

I use the combined presence app with my phone and @iharyadi 's zigbee presence sensor. It's been pretty darn reliable.

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How do MMR sensors handle cats? Can they be configured to not trigger on my furry friends?

Here, we're currently using Joel Wetzel 's iPhone WiFi Presence Sensor (works fine for Android, too) and Life360.

"Presence" is triggered by either going true; "non-presence" is triggered by both going false. Zero fails, either coming or going.

I use the following rule with a virtual presence sensor. It has worked well. You need to assign a fixed IP for the phone and if using Android at least tell the phone to use the device's MAC, not a virtual one.


Cats... Yes cats are a problem.

Mine trigger the mmr all the time.

Not a lot you can do about that yet. Object size detection isn't a thing yet.

I have a few things set up using the Combined Presence app that others have mentions.

  1. Life360
  2. Tasker profile that checks my location and connection to home network
  3. Hubitat pings my phone

There is some redundancy, but it works flawlessly for me.

I use Owntracks...needs to be loaded on each phone (Android/iOS) and has "just worked" for me. I'm the only one using it in my house, wife refuses any tracking.

Same issue here, which really limits the usefulness. I have developed a multi-step approach using a variety of LAN-based methods. It requires nothing on the phone except a fixed IP and a non-randomized MAC. Ugly but functional.

I would use something like that but my hub is intentionally isolated on an IoT VLAN that blocks those devices from initiating connections to devices on the main VLAN. So the hub can't ping any of our phones/computers, etc.

Mine is too... I just have firewall rules that allow access from the hub on my home automation VLAN to my mobile devices sitting on my user VLAN. Which I need to use the HE mobile app anyway... so no additional security risk. And the unifi presence sensor does not even require that since it's querying the network controller, not pinging the phone.

I don't use the mobile app so that's not an issue for me.

I'll have to look at this again - the last time I tried to setup the Unifi integration it didn't work for me. I'm actually OK w/my current setup, as my wife doesn't want tracking of any kind and I feel like I need to respect her privacy requests, since she puts up w/all my other home automation stuff. :slight_smile:

Oops, and oddly, she did approve an arrival sensor in her car, which she loves because I've set up a rule so it opens the garage door automatically. Not sure why that's OK w/her, but if she's happy, I'm happy. :slight_smile:


That's not really tracking though.

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I'd agree. Most iOS apps (Hubitat, Apple Home, Geofency, Locative) only send arrived/departed messages for specifically identified locations that are set up on each iOS device. Only OwnTracks sends more geolocation data in a default setup, and I imagine that can be changed.