Help with presence please :)


So I'm new to the Hubitat scene, but I've been a SmartThings user since their Kickstarter campaign (before Samsung bought them out and trashed everything)

I'm trying to mimic a few basic automations I had running on my old set up. After a few days of combing through the forums, reading about numerous others having the same issue as me, and the myriad solutions to them, it seems either impossible or costly to recreate what I had.

I currently have a door sensor and a smoke alarm. I want my hub to be able to tell when I am home and not home (preferably by using the app on my phone and no other hardware), and only send me notifications about the door being opened or smoke being detected when im not home. The automation part of it seems straight forward; I was able to create a few basic rules and successfully test them out.

Its the mobile presence part that seems to not work so well.

Full disclaimer: I'm trying this on an older Samsung Galaxy S5 running Android 6.0, but was assured this would not be a barrier.

The built in Geofence feature in the Hubitat app is absolutely horrible. I see the GPS icon pop up every 3 seconds, then it goes away for 3 seconds; and cycles back and forth until my battery is dead after a few hours. I have tried messing with the various settings, only update when in motion, etc. I have even gone so far as to turn Geofencing COMPLETELY OFF and it still continues to ping and drain the battery. I need to completely revoke all location permissions on the Hubitat app for it to stop.

I tried implementing this "solution" here:

The Presence Sensor app was operational for a day, although it did not detect my wifi and set the mode to "disarmed" Day2: the app crashes every time you try to open it and is useless, thus making this fix non functional.

I have read several people use something called Life360. I googled it and its some app moms use to track their kids. You have to pay a monthly subscription fee to use it?

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get this working with as few moving parts as possible (i.e not having to install a bunch of companion apps) and without paying a subscription fee?

Not an expert, but i have Life360, we've used it for a few years, never had to pay. There are extra features you get by paying, but we dont. I have Life360 setup in Hubitat and it reports presence although not instant.

I've read a lot of good about the Improved Mobile Presence app, but haven't implemented.

I'd recommend starting with Life360 and see how well that reports presence.

Also, do you have the Hubitat App on your mobile?

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OwnTracks is another dedicated geofencing app for which there is a Hubitat community integration (from @brianwilson, linked below). I have used it successfully using Android and iOS phones.

I haven't used this on Android 6.0 in a while and since then there has been almost a complete rewrite of the app. I will test it out in the emulator tonight but the first thing I would check is the app permissions. There have been some significant changes to the way permissions are handled since 6.0 so it's possible that some permission isn't getting requested properly.

I also use Life360. It's pretty good, not 100% but I would say 98%+. I do pay for (and use) the extra features but I don't thin you need to for basic geofencing. The biggest complaint I get is around other family members and privacy :slight_smile: Apparently tracking their whereabouts and making comments like "gee you spent a lot of time at the bar last night" is not OK.

Hubitat... app is perrty much useless and kills the battery
Life360... is all around very good
webCoRE... is now the one i use and love it

Ok, so why webCoRE, can you provide more detail on setup etc... are you aggregating with Life360 or just using it alone, and are you using it to trigger HSM?

I use a few different apps and combine them into a single presence sensor for reliability

  1. Hubitat app - works great for detecting arrival. Mine tended to skip away from the geofence for no reason. So I set this to detect arrival only (I'm on iOS. It might have been fixed already since i set this - i dont know)
  2. Alexa app - since i have it might as well use it. using routines to turn on and off virtual presence devices
    3.. Life360 (free version) - most reliable for me so far
  3. Wifi presence - great at detecting arrival, but slow for detecting departures

So my logic for the combined presence sensor is:
Arrive if:
Hubitat or alexa or life 360 or wifi presence arrives

Depart if:
alexa or life 360 departs

I've never had a false presence since. Of course, you can add different services that works for you but its always good to have redundancy.

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WebCoRE just worked !!
and worked well with also having ablility to add more than one location.. which meant i could have the default/where i live but then could also add my place of work or what ever
very handy if i wanted to say when leaving work after xyz time do this or that which meant i didnt have to wait to trigger stuff once home

id just download the webcore app for your phone (it is paid ... dollar or something)
installed that and setup the geo fence
it will install a driver for you to hubitat ?
i also use Hubitat Package Manager and later saw it asked to add something esle once id istalled the webcore phone app

i will note there app appears to be new and limited info so i did ene up looking throught smartthings post for more info / help at the time

Hey just thought I'd post a quick update to my findings.

Life360 does not appear to be available for my version of Android, so that one's ruled out.
Some other options seem to be for apple products only.

Looking at OwnTracks then as my only other option, and I'm finding these instructions a little uneasy to follow. Not user friendly or very accurate in terminology. I've gotten as far as I could, and made many assumptions because the instructions leave so much open to interpretation/guessing, and that is probably why it isnt working.

Has anyone else gotten this app to work and how? Could anyone offer any pointers?

I've loaded the OwnTracks program to my Hub, as well as downloaded the OwnTracks App to my Android Smartphone. Per the instructions in the program on my hub:

" 1. Create OwnTracks Virtual Presence Devices
Go to Devices -> Add Virtual Device and create a new virtual device of type OwnTracks Virtual Mobile Presence Device"

During the initial configuration of this virtual device, it requires a "Location/Region to Track" and a "User to Track". Per the github instructions here it says to "Set the Location/Region and User to correspond to the location/region in OwnTracks you'll be monitoring and person who will be running OwnTracks"

Q: Where is this "User" information coming from? The app doesnt require an account to be created? Can this just be arbitrary info as long as it matches on both ends in the app program and the hub program?
Where is the "location/region to track" coming from? I created a Region in the App on my phone, and copied in the Latitude/longitude coordinates from the Location section of my Hub. Do you need to copy these coordinates into the Location/Region to Track field in the virtual device? Or the name of the Location as per the Hub? Or the name of the Region as per the app? Does all of this need to match and if so what takes precedence?

In the app on my phone, When switching the mode to HTTP it asks for a URL.
The instructions say to:
"Use the following as the URL for OwnTracks but make sure that you add your user info after /location/ in the URL using the same user you configured in your virtual device in step 1:
Well there is no "User" info or at least thats not what its called when youre setting up the app. There is something called a "Device Network ID" that seems to be in this same format. The instructions however say to " add your user info after /location/ in the URL using the same user you configured in your virtual device in step 1
Assuming it IS the Device ID (which is not something I configured as was indicated, but was instead auto populated):
When I do, and paste that URL into my browser to test, it does not return the success message as indicated. The format seems to appear it should instead be pasted instead after /location/?access_token= but this does not work either.
Also tried creating a user on the hub itself and pasting THAT after the /location/
Still no joy.

I haven't been able to finish step 1 because it seems to be contingent on completing some other part that the instructions don't make you privy to. What am I missing here??

I must say that I'm having the exact same problem.
There is instruction to enter a location/Region and user without any indication what that means or where to get the data. The Owntracks app opens and offers no clues as to how it should work. ANY help would be appreciated.

I am usinbg life360, Improved Presence monitor, and presence monitor for about a month now and it had been rock solid. If you are having problems with improved presence monitor, I stronglt recommend reaching out to the developer. He was excellent working with me to get it all working correctly.

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