I recently purchased the Zen16 relay and tilt/shock sensors with the hope that I could automate our garage doors. My hope is that I can get this setup so that when our cars are within about 2 mins of our house the garage doors will open. I had thought to do this through geofencing but is utilizing some sort of presence sensor a better way to go about doing this? Is there somewhere I can learn more about how to do this?
You can, but I don't think you should. This is a huge security risk if anything in the process were to go wrong, the door would open when not desired.
Geofence in my opinion would be probably the worst option. If your phone loses GPS signal for whatever reason, and then finds the satellites again, the door will open.
Using a presence sensor would be slightly better, but I still have the same concern about a false trigger.
Combining presence sensor and Geofence would be a bit better than any individual sensor, and there are community presence combiner apps that do just this.
It could be that your garage is separate from your house, or otherwise there are reasons you think it is a manageable risk. That's up to you. I choose not to open the garage door, but I do turn on lights and resume normal program on thermostats, etc. when I'm inside my geofence.
I don't think presence sensors would work well if they were wi-fi or zigbee based. You'd have to wait outside your garage door for a short time before you'd be recognized. You'd reach for the button before it all happened automatically.
Yes, it is. I do this using @iharyadi's Zigbee Car Arrival Sensor, described here:
My garage door opens when my car is about 30 feet away from my house. It has been extremely reliable.
I agree with what @neonturbo has suggested. I use a more restrictive version of this principle. Basically, my garage door will open only within 5 minutes of a combined presence sensor, which relies on geofencing, changing its status to indicate I'm home.
This is further aided by the program I use for geofencing permitting me to create an irregularly shaped area that corresponds to roads I take to enter and/leave my neighborhood (shown below) with the blue outline.
For ~$50 or less when on sale, get an Amazon Echo Auto and add it to your car. Then when you want to, just Say "Alexa, Open the garage door", or whatever you wish to call the relay (SyFi fans may wish to use "Pod Bay Doors" or "Shuttle Bay Doors", or "Launch Bay Doors") and drive in. FYI: you will also need a smart phone running Alexa to do this. It will also allow you to use Alexa to open or close your garage door in your home if you have an Echo in your home or anywhere with Alexa on your smartphone. It is very handy if you are in a rush and may have forgotten to close the door when you left.
Note: If you have your security system attached to a garage door sensor be sure to deactivate it first or you may experience unwelcome visitors from your city's protection services.
Thanks for the responses. I have much to consider in this regard.
We would not consider automating our attached garage's door with any system. Is it really that difficult to press a button to open and close the garage? The risks of a malfunction or unintended opening are too great to save all that effort reaching up and pressing a button on your visor.
What we do have is a sensor for door status (open/close), alerts for being open for too long, and Inovelli led bar status indicating open vs closed.
And this coming from someone that wants every excuse to automate stuff, but the garage door was not one of them.
Just my 2c.