Presence Tracking - General How To

I have been looking for any high level 'how to's' for presence in Hubitat but I can not find any.

The hubitat website lists geofencing as an advanced feature, but other than Life360, I do not find anything built in.

I have seen posts stating that Life360 is the official solution. And I have seen posts with references to webCore presence trackers.

I have found Presence Central in various blogs and about a hundred other posts all with folks coming up with interesting solutions.

Is there not an official Hubitat written documentation on setting up presence?

For the record, I have used ST and webCore for a long time, I even still have @bravenel's original Rule Machine Apps installed in my ST set up (!). It could be the various legacy experience is hindering me, or challenging me or setting expectations. However what I have not been able to figure out yet is presence with multiple locations. I set up a Life360 account and added several locations. However within Hubitat, all it appears to report is present = yes/no (inferred home).

  1. Can Life360 report, and can Hubitat show multiple locations such as Home, and Work?

  2. Can webcore's presence sensor (mobile app) presence be brought into Hubitat when using webcore in hubitat? Specifically I do not want to use Send to Hub (or whatever it is called) to proxy my ST presence into Hubitat.

  3. Are there other solutions I have not found in my searching and digging around?

I appreciate all the help!

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Can Life360 report more? Yes. Hubitat does not support anything other than the present/away. This is probably by design to function as a basic presence sensor like other systems for home/away functionality.

Never used WebCore's presence as I used to use Life360 and no point in multiple GPS apps running on my phone, wife phone, kids phones etc.

The problem I find with most phone apps with Life360 being the exception is that they are configured locally on each phone for configuration and settings and geofences. It's a PITA to try and get everyone's phones and configure them.

Are there other solutions? Yup... but they're not free. I posted about this.


As @jeubanks pointed out, there is no built-in capability at present. Life360 seems to require a refresh to keep it working consistently for many. I'm not a Life360 user, but instead use iOS location services with @tonesto7 's Homebridge plug-in. Using HomeKit automations, I activate virtual switches in Hubitat to indicate Geolocation based presence. Since we have businesses in our neighborhood that we walk to, it was necessary to have a second trigger, so I chose WiFi presence detection via my TP-Link router and an IFTTT applet. This works pretty well and it eliminated the remote unlocking of our front door when we entered the Geofence, but didn't go home.

Since we all use iPhones, this was an easy task, and I only needed to make sure each phone was invited and accepted the invitation to join HomeKit. The IFTTT geofence also works pretty well, and isn't slow like some other IFTTT services can be.


@SmartHomePrimer Would you mind PMing me and sharing your IFTTT applet? I don't have a TP-Link router but do have an Asus router and am thinking I may be able to use something similiar to this. Thank you.

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No need for privacy. Nothing revealing. It's just default options, not a custom applet. Here's what it looks like. The magic is what RM can do with it. I've post an example of that too.

The rule looks for my HE Location virtual switch to turn on, which occurs when my iPhone enters the geofenced are (a HomeKit automation kicks in and turns on that switch). So it's kind of like pulling the hammer back. Then when my phone connects to the router, that pulls the trigger and the IFTTT Applet turns on my HE Presence switch, which resets to OFF after 1 second. With both switches on briefly, the rule is true and it disarms my alarm, unlocks the front door and then resets my HE Location switch so it's ready to go next time I leave and re-enter my specified geolocation.

If you don't have iOS, Homebridge and something to do HomeKit automations, you can just substitute another Geolocation or presence service like IFTTT location. Certain Asus routers do support what you want to do.

Thanks! I have an iPad but will be getting an AppleTV 4k here in a month or two. I'm going to investigate this a little more because quite frankly, Life360 for me is not reliable in Hubitat. Webcore presence was the most reliable I've had and that was in ST, but I'm not using Webcore in Hubitat. This will give me an option.

and Yes, I'm an iPhone family as well.

Could you share your HomeKit / Homebridge setup? I setup a virtual presence sensor and exposed to Homebridge but Iā€™m not able to set the sensor using a HomeKit automation. Am I supposed to be doing it a different way?

HomeKit cannot modify the state of a virtual presence sensor, they are treated as read only.

Some people use a virtual presence sensor that acts as a switch, because they want Hubitat Dashboard to show present/not present status. I don't use any dashboards in my home automation, so I just use virtual switches, and those switches do other things in Hubitat for arrival and departure.

If you want to have HomeKit change a virtual presence sensor in Hubitat, you need to use one that also has the switch capability. Then set your HomeKit automation to change the switch capability of the Virtual presence sensor and it will reflect present when ON and not present when OFF. @ogiewon 's Virtual Presence as Switch driver will do the trick.

If you don't want the Sensor and Presence Sensor capabilities to show in HomeKit, you can use this method.

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The only difference is for those OCD enough to need the icon on the Dashboard be a Presence one vs a Switch icon.

That particular virtual device driver is a switch everywhere you need it to be a switch, and Apple won't alter a Sensor... simple, tell it its a switch. :slight_smile: That means an Automation built in the iOS Home App will alter on/off. It doesn't know it, but the driver also set Presence/Departed.

On Hubitat, the driver status shows both:

Rules can then be built making use of either value. An extra Virtual Presence device can then track "humans" (is anyone home? Is everyone away?)

@ogiewon has another hybrid driver: Virtual Motion :smiley: Useful tools.

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Life360 isn't really "free" is it... I've been a little creeped out lately at what they can infer through tracking my location day and night. Like whether or not I go to the gym and how often, where I shop and how often, etc..., and then selling it to advertisers.

I wish there was a way to get multi-user geofencing without compromising personal information. I might not mind my location being tracked as long as its being anonymized.

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How about using a sensor like the SmartThings Arrival Sensor? Nothing web based, no personal data shared. If you can find them, the Iris 3450-L2 fob also works as a presence sensor and also has 4 buttons you can use for other things.

There is a way. A while back I put forth my own money to build such a service and offer it at what I thought was a decent price of $3.99 per tracker. This cost was too much for most I guess and there wasn't enough business for me to keep the system running.

The alternative is you give away your privacy for cheap or you build a system yourself. Traccar is a good open source system you can deploy and manage yourself. You just have to learn the system and build the integrations.

If you want "creepy" just read the Life360 terms of service agreement....

So true man. This would be a great philanthropic project for someone with a good heart and a lot of money to burn... Bill Gates (or maybe a group of billionaires that chip in to a fund/not-for-profit association to give humans their privacy back.)