Presence sensor from zigbee button


I don't see a lot of good options for presence sensors I can keep on a keychain. I was hoping to try just using a smartthings button that I already have as a test. Like have it be away if it's disconnected for 30 minutes or so. Then have it chang to present when it reconnects.

I don't see a way in rule manager to use connects or disconnects as triggers though. Is this possible.


Devices don't send an event to the hub when they disconnect. Presence sensors work by sending a periodic report to the driver, the driver then resets a timer on every report, when the timer expires the driver sends a departed event.
Most if not all zigbee battery devices can be configured as presence sensors, but obviously the driver needs to be written specifically to support this.


We had a pretty in depth discussion the other day about presence sensors.

I am far from the Rule Machine expert, but in 4.0 I have this option:

I would also add, you should look at any number of combined presence apps that are posted on this board. They take two or more forms of presence, and like the name implies, combines them to get a better idea if you are actually there. You could combine phone and Samsung fob, for example in case one or the other did not trigger arrival or departure.


@neonturbo I couldn’t tell from that discussion, but are you outside the US? If so, are the ST presence sensors hard to obtain in other countries?


I am in the USA.


I'm from The Netherlands and I haven't seen smartthings stuff anywhere. Maybe on Amazon or eBay but since Dutch people don't buy stuff there I'm not likely to look there either.


Gotcha, I just wasn’t sure if you dislike the ST presence sensors for some reason? They’re at Best Buy for like 20 bucks.


For some reason, Best Buy didn't initially come up when I was searching. I was looking at Amazon, Ebay, the Smartthings site, and a few other places online without any luck. It seems like they are or were on backorder, out of stock, (or discontinued?) pretty much everywhere.

My local Best Buy doesn't currently have any for pick up, and the shipping is ridiculous on a small item (about 30 percent of the item price!). I am going to keep watch, and buy at least one if I find them for normal retail price.

It would be nice however to find a slightly cheaper solution. I want at least 4 of these, and I was planning on tearing apart at least two to convert to vehicle presence, so I hate to spend that much on something I am going to "destroy" anyway.


I purchsed 1 Smart Things Presence locally. I tested and found it to work well. The Hubitat app released shortly after, so I held off getting more presence sensors. Fast forward 8 weeks and presence in Hubitat app is just not refined to be reliable. So I picked up 3 more Smart Things sensors for $19. 95 each at our local Best Buy.

Now I am tracking our cars presence and our presence with greater accuracy, with more rules surrounding these to manage things.


have you noticed bad battery performance with the ST sensors?
i've seen people report that they convert them to AA or something with USB to have them car powered.


If you want to put one in the car, then modding the sensor to take AA batteries will give you better battery life, plain and simple.

If you want to put it on a keychain, they’re nice and small but the battery life can sometimes leave you wanting more. Some brands seem to last longer than others.


The battery life I keep reading about is why I wasn't excited about trying an ST sensor. Also, it'd be nice to have a button on it. Which is why I was looking for another option.

How is the V1 iris fob? Maybe I should try that. The reviews on the later version 4-button iris fobs are that the battery connectors break off easily.


I was going back and forth about the ST Sensors myself. I picked one up for the wife's car and modded it with the AA battery hack. It worked so well that I picked one up for my car and did the same. The one in my wife's car was done in May and the battery is still showing 100%. No longer a key-chain fob obviously. Plus, I think you'll have a much harder time finding the iris fob than you will the Smartthings sensor. There may be some used on Ebay.


I thought the same thing. But I could easily put mine back to battery and put it back in its original housing.


I use the ST sensors, as geofence is too large for my needs (either have to offset it from my house, or when i'm at the pub or in-laws it thinks i'm home).

I currently have 6 of them in use;

1 has been adapted to run off AA's for the wife's car , it's still in it's housing which is then inside a 4aa holder, so can still run it off the button cell if i want. This has been sat in her car for at least 9 months and still shows 100%
1 on my keys,
1 on the wife's keys,
1 on each of the two kids bags
and lastly 1 for the dog walker

In 12 months i've only changed the button cells once in each of the keyfob versions and the ones that are in the house are currently showing 100%, 90%, 90% & 70% The dog walkers is showing 90% but that'll update tomorrow when he comes.

Back when i was on ST, i added a zigbee repeater as close to the front door as i could get it and that helped massively with the reliability. I've had no issues with them since switching everything to hubitat.