Presence for non household family

We currently utilize Life360 and mode manager for setting house modes for my wife and I, plus her mother.

This weekend, my brother in law and his wife will be staying at our house watching the dogs while the wife, kids, and I will be out of town.

I have schlage z wave door locks and they have a code for them, but are not on Life360.

My first thought is to create a virtual presence to be turned on when they arrive and enter their code but what's the most reliable approach for turning it off when they leave? Note: They will be sleeping here and the doors will be locked while they are still here.

They both have apple devices and tracking via WiFi has been a challenge in my last home since there are a lot of sleep battery optimizations that turn disconnect and reconnect WiFi, the activity was insane to me. But that was also 5 years ago and with a Vera system.

FYI I have Ubiquiti, seems like that might be an option but haven't integrated anything since haven't had the need yet.

Much thanks in advance for any tips!

I use four methods... 2 ping presence sensors, a ubiquity sensor, and a wifi presence sensor. Then I combine them to detect presence. Because of the battery optimization stuff none of them are 100% but if I set a delay of maybe 10 min before I declare someone gone it generally works. You have to turn off MAC randomization ("private wifi address") though, and create a DHCP reservation for the phones to make sure they have the same IP address every time. It generates a fair amount of hub traffic so I actually have it running on a separate hub. My network is robust enough and ping packets are small enough that network traffic really isn't an issue.

I should point out that a positive hit (phone detected) is 100% reliable - in other words if one of these thinks the phone is there, it really is. It's false negatives that are the issue.

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I just use the IPHONE WIFI presence sensor for my daughter. When she arrives her phone connects to our wifi and that sets a virtual switch. I then use that switch to determine alternate rule capabilities while she is here. I think you can do the same with Android phones. Arrival is almost instantaneous, departure is a bit trickier, as the iPhone will connect and disconnect as it goes to sleep and wakes up. So I use a rule that if her phone disconnects and stays disconnected for more that 8 hours it turns off presence. That in just in case I forget to turn it off on the dashboard when she leaves.

Since most folks these days have wifi in the homes and everyone has a phone, This works well for us. As mentioned above, you have to set up each device to a specific IP, which means they need to turn off the feature on the IPHONE that spoofs different MAC addresses.

For other guest I just have a routine on Alexa that I can say Alexa, we have guest and it turns on the guest switch.

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Maybe leave a button of some type that they press, or a double tap on a light switch?

You could even do a virtual switch and Alexa, as long as they can remember to say "Alexa, turn on we are home" with we are home being the name of the virtual switch. Similarly, a we are leaving could run the Away part of the rule.

For just a weekend, why not go back to a plain, old non-automated house and let them use things like physical switches and remembering to lock the place up when they leave?


Yea, this. i don't know if I'd want to deal with another set of phones to install/manage/etc, unless this is a long term deal. I have problems enough with devices I have in house and I can easily adjust when i'm messing with stuff.

Maybe just pause the 'security' apps (locks have a code, right?) in the house for the weekend, and leave on the standard motion type items, unless those are set off by mobile device proximity.

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