Presence used to Open Garage door after being gone for a while

I thought this was going to be easy but I am a bit lost. I had a rule SmartThings that worked like this:

  • (user) arrived at home - after being away for 45mins

-Open Garage Door

I don't want to use the just arrived as the trigger, during the day I'd take my bike or OneWheel out and I don't want the garage door opening every time I get back from one of those rides. The idea is that after 45 mins I would have taken the car and not be nearby, I am using Rule Machine, I have MyQ as my garage door opener. I have my phone as a presence sensor and when I take the motorbike out I have another sensor on that.

Thanks for your help.

One way to handle that would be a rule like this:

Trigger: Presence sensor away and stays that way for 0:45:00

Actions to run:

Wait for event: Presence sensor arrives
Open: Garage Door

The "and stays?" option is available for many kinds of trigger events (pretty much any that result in a check-able state change) and is the key to making this kind of thing easy to write. There are other ways it can still be done (and would have had to have been done in the past, before this feature existed), so you might see other examples elsewhere.

That being said, it is often recommended to avoid presence-based automations for possibly insecure actions like opening a garage door, unlocking a door lock, etc., so proceed with caution. Or maybe at least add a notification or possibly something more to notify you or close it if it stays open "too long." But all your choice, of course. :slight_smile:


Example: presence device loses connection overnight while you're asleep and changes to an away state. An hour or so later connection is restored and state changes to present. Garage door opens in the middle of the night.


@dylan.c I've had very rare occasions where this happened while on ST. What would you suggest as an alternative?

Thanks :+1:t4:

I don't have a better option..I just open mine "manually" using a dashboard button or garage door remote.


I have an NFC tag in my truck. When I am on my way home, as I get in the truck I tap the tag with the IPhone and the garage will open if I arrive home in the next 20 minutes. I use this when I leave the office each day, or I am up town and heading back to the house. I also have a shortcut where I say "Hey, Siri open my garage" and it runs the same type routine except I have to be home in 5 minutes. in case I forget to use the tag or am coming in from a long trip..

My garage door stopped working with its remotes a about a year ago, the opener is pretty old, its a screw drive and it stills works but it won't pair with a remote anymore. I never liked the idea of having the door open based on a presence sensor. If the remote still worked I would just reach up and press the button. My routine above is the comprise, it doesn't just open anytime I get home. It only opens if I initiate the routine.


That's actually a pretty clever approach. Kind of like using MFA but simpler. Thanks for sharing.

FWIW, I automate the heck out of my garage door and door locks. I use Combined Presence to combine GPS presence with WiFi presence and I've never had an issue. The biggest security risk is a false arrival, but GPS won't falsely mark me as home if I'm not close and WiFi won't say I'm connected at home if I'm not.

I do have an automation that warns me if the door isn't locked or garage is open if we're both away for 10 minutes, but the only time I get notified is if I run to the hardware store and leave the back door open on a nice day.

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If you're using an Android, you may want to consider using Tasker and AutoLocation (or GeoTask) for this. I've used it religiously for the last few years and the geofencing is way better than any built-in presence sensor I've tested.

As far as opening the garage door, in Tasker, I have the task setup to open the garage door upon my arrival but only if my phone is connected to my car's bluetooth. I've found this to be a good solution for me.

Mileage will vary, of course, if you're not using Android or not connecting your phone to your car, you'll have to pursue another option.

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