Most successful presence detection?

Hi everyone, I'm trying to get presence detection to work reliably. So far I've got Life360 running but it doesn't seem to be updating consistently in Hubitat. EG I"ll be home but it still shows me as away. I see plenty of discussion about this issue but the threads are over a year old.

Does anyone have any new advice based on their success? Thanks!

I use Lilfe360, Google App, Alexa App, HE App. I have found that if one of them doesn't work, none of them do. So it's some sort of issue with the phones. The wife's phone is the same. New phones didn't make any difference. Android. So for the 10% time it doesn't work I just live with it.

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I use Apple’s Home app with an Apple TV as the hub to change virtual presence sensors via Maker API. It has been 100% solid, runs completely local, but obviously only works for iPhones.

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It's important to distinguish two different scenarios here:

  1. A change of presence state is correctly seen in the Life 360 app, but not in Hubitat.

For this have you looked at doing a refresh on the Life 360 Refresh device? I do that every 10 minutes just in case Hubitat isn't getting updated.

  1. Presence is unreliable and the Life 360 app on the phone isn't updating correctly either.

For this, what @j715 said. Location services on a phone may use a combination of mobile network proximity, GPS, Bluetooth, and perhaps wi-fi hotspots to provide a location to any app on the device wanting location information. If you are in an area with no sources for location information, no app will tell you where you are. No one app is going to be any more or less reliable than another.

I give the cleaning lady an Iris 3450-L2 smart fob. It would be unreasonable for me to ask her to install something on her phone so I can track her everywhere every day, so this is the best I can do. I do have to keep in mind that the device may not connect before she opens the door and comes in.

Some folks use connectivity to their home wi-fi to indicate presence. That's great until your phone's battery runs out at 3 AM, your presence switches to Away, and alarms go off. Also, your geofence size is limited.

Some folks have a strategy of using multiple of these solutions to overcome their individual limitations.

This is what I do as well.

Tried numerous others but none worked consistently. This does and as we’re all on iPhones is perfect for our needs.

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If you have an Android try using tasker and wifi connected to send command to HE via Maker API. I have done this for 2+ years and I haven't had any issues with reliability. Of course if the internet goes out it would mark you as not present but you could set up conditions in tasker or in a rule to help that.

Edit: I use nfc tags for the kids as well. Those are a solid option for presence too.

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This is a great point. I've been using Life360 for years and I've been lucky as it is super reliable. I didn't even realize that there was a Refresh Life360 device in Hubitat. I've set a rule for it to refresh every 10 minutes as you suggested. Fingers crossed that will help. Thanks!

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Lucy, I'm home. :smiley:

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:rofl:

At our house:

Oh, June .. I'm home.

In here, Ward.

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If you are a lutron user and you only need presence for yourself, the luton app works great.

I have given up on GPS phone presence for now. We use [RELEASE] Improved Mobile Presence (Android only) for my household. It is wifi based but has been very reliable for me.

In my house I say I'm home! The dog just looks at me like "so what!"

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I’m late to the party… but apple’s Shortcuts app is the most reliable way to track presence I’ve ever used so far. Sadly, it still requires user input to confirm that they’re not being stalked… but hopefully that changes with the next version of iOS.

I use @joelwetzel 's Wifi presence sensor driver with his combined presence senor app and a smart things presence fob on my keychain. This has been pretty reliable for me. When home, even if my phone drops off wifi, nothing will be triggered since my keys are in the house but both must be present to trigger lets say the door lock when I arrive home. Or both must be gone to trigger the door lock to lock

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Does this require an Apple TV or iPad as a hub?

Nope. Just set up a Siri Shortcut that sends a GET command to a custom Maker API Endpoint. Super lightweight

I know this has been awhile since you posted but I am new to Hubitat and currently it (along with my old nemesis SmartThings that I just left) are doing horrible reporting with their native apps. We too are entirely iPhone based and I would love to do what you are doing. Do you have any advice/reading/guides for setting up what you are doing? Thanks in advance.

  1. You need something to act as a hub at home. Apple TV, HomePod, or always-on iPad work. Also, your Hubitat hub needs to have a static IP on the local network.
  2. In Hubitat, create a "Virtual Presence" device for each person
  3. Install the "Maker API" application give it a label (e.g. "Presence Detection") and turn on "Allow Access via Local IP Address"
  4. In the "Select Devices," select all virtual presence sensor you created in step 2. above
  5. In the "Local URLs" section, click the "Get all Devices" link and write down the "id" values for each device
  6. In the Shortcuts app on iOS, select the "Automations" tab and for each device, create two automations:
    a. When "Person A Leaves Home" -> URL ("http://HubIP/apps/api/xxx/devices/yyy/departed?access_token=zzz") -> Get contents of URL (where xxx, yyy, and zzz are the values listed on the Maker API page on your hub)
    b. When "Person A Arrives Home" -> URL (as above, replacing "departed" with "arrived") -> Get contents of URL
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Thanks so much. That was super easy and I never would have figured that out on my own. I really appreciate the assistance.

So this was my first time using Shortcuts so I’m looking to confirm if I’m doing it right as it didn’t perform the way I expected. When I left home this morning it didn’t automatically trigger the presence but gave me a notification that I had to click on (when I arrived at my destination) to actually activate it. Is there something I did wrong that the URL doesn’t automatically process or is this how it’s supposed to work?

I’m hoping it can be completely automatic as there’s about a .1% chance my wife will EVER activate the link when she comes and goes.

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