[RELEASE] Combined Presence

All set-up. Fingers crossed.

One hiccup, how do I expose an 'Enhanced Virtual Presence Sensor' to the wife's Alexa account? It appears I am not able to create a second instance of Hubitat's Amazon Echo Skill (existing instance is linked to my Alexa account).

That’s the tricky part. Last time I checked, Alexa has no way to share smart devices with people. (Even if they’re part of your family in the Alexa app!)

For our family, I had to have my wife log in to the Alexa app on her phone using my credentials.

Same here. My wife has logged into our "main Amazon account" on Alexa on her phone. A crappy limitation right now with Alexa/Amazon.

Do you see any battery drain issues with using the Alexa app for presence? Just curious before I add this to the rest of the house. All iphone 10s to add it to.

Do you know if it is possible to have this routine, or maybe sets of routines and new presence sensors, for multiple people's phones?

Example: I have this working for my phone, but can my brother use a similar technique for his phone/presence if he is logged into the same Amazon account?

Side rant: Amazon really needs to get their ■■■■ together in regards to their multi-user experience, imo it is such a mess right now. The best way I have found is to have an account for the house that everyone just logs into.

Just closing the loop on my previous post..

I have the Smartthings Hub still active to use a couple Smartthings Wifi smart plugs that control my fish tank light on a timer and a plug the Christmas Tree is plugged into. So.. I decided to go ahead and add in the Smartthings Presence/Geofence capability using the Hub Link app and the Send Events smartapp.

Using the Combined Presence app I now have my own little Electoral College between GPS presence via Smartthings and Hubitat apps and the iPhone Wifi Presence app.

These turn on a virtual switch I created for both my wife and I. If both of those switches are Present then we are BOTH home and a third virtual switch is activated that then turns off/on the Blink cameras depending on Home/Away status.

Below is my Presence Dashboard that helps me visualize which presence sensors/virtual switches are active or not and contributing to the overall consensus vote as to whether we are home individually or both gone. These states then drive my automations as necessary.

Everything cascades to the right.
The three small boxes are the presence inputs for myself and my wife. The Combined Presence app Combiner combines these to turn on/off the medium size boxes representing me and my wife. The Boolean Combiner then uses those states o generate the "are we both home or both gone" final box on the far right. This is the switch that actually turns the Blink cameras on/off. I want the cameras on when we are both gone and off when we are both home.

Thanks to all who replied earlier and helped me get a better handle on Hubitat Presence

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Trying to make this (Combined Presence) app work.
If I click on "Add a new Boolean-OR Combiner", I get this screen

I also notice in the Apps Code, I have
(1) Instance of "Advanced Combined Presence Instance"
(2) instances of "Combined Presence" Ver 2.0 and Ver 2.1
and (2) instances of "Combined Presence Instance" Ver 2.0 and Ver. 2.1
Anybody have any thoughts? Should I delete the 2.0 Ver? Delete everything and start over?
Not sure if I would even use "Add a new Boolean-OR Combiner", but I want the program to be working right.
Thanks for any help .

I’d recommend deleting all of them and starting over installing from Hubitat Package Manager.

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Thanks. That's what I did and its back up and working right.

Given that Homebridge runs on my local network, does it effectively supersede your wifi presense sensor or is there a scenario where I may want to use both?

Yeah, they do different things. My Wifi presence is basically "pinging" your phone. Homekit is doing some proprietary, secret Apple thing which appears to be a combination of geofencing and wifi pings, with some weighting.

But they aren't they both dependent on the mobile device being on the LAN, and therefore redundant? i.e. if my Homebridge/HomeKit presence detection is functional, do I need Wi-Fi presence?

Yes and no. I've had times where HomeKit was slow to detect an arrival (maybe because it was waiting for a geofencing update), but the Wifi presence detected it faster. That's why Combined Presence thinks in terms of arrival/departure events, rather than trying to combine present/away. It's to get the fastest response possible, by watching for arrival/departure events from multiple types of presence sensors, knowing that they have different performance characteristics in different situations.

My understanding from Apple's documentation is that Homekit for 100% sure uses geofencing. I believe it's possible they use wifi also, based on its behavior. But they keep the combination as a secret sauce.

If I wanted to create more than one Advanced Combiner for the same virtual presence sensor, what should I do?

Will adding a second instance of the Combined Presence app muck up my existing one?

The app should create children for each new instance, so I wouldn’t expect you need to create the parent app again. I have done that for other apps though and can confirm it works.

That said, are you planning to use different source presence sensors to separately impact the same target virtual presence sensor?

It should work, but I’m curious as to what is your use case...

I now see where I can click on the parent App and create new Combiners. Sorry, long day.

Just trying different combinations to get presence to work correctly.

Not sure if it's because we have old phones but presence is slowly making me go mad...and not in a cool evil scientist way. Like, the bad mad <- changing my screen name (if I ever finish this pooooost).

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Yea, presence can be problematic. There are quite a few posts on that.

I am personally using 4 presence methods combined into one via this same app to get it to work, and it is now working quite well - most of the time...

  1. App’s presence (works well when High Accuracy is enabled, but that kills my batteries unfortunately...)
  2. Geofency (Paid app, but works very well - every time I check, it seems to be accurate.)
  3. iPhone Wifi presence sensor (Driver - requires a fixed IP for the devices it checks, but works quite well)
  4. Google Wifi presence via IFTTT / Virtual Switch (Works most of the time)

I use Geofency and iPhone wifi. That seems to be enough for my family for it to work reliably. Geofency is only $2.99 and that purchase can be shared with the family without cost if you've enabled family sharing on your Apple accounts. Given the cost of the rest of the system, $2.99 seems a small price to pay.

My two failure modes are:

  1. Forgetting to take your phone with you when leaving. No amount of additional apps on the phone will help with this.
  2. Disabling the app accidentally. I found that enabling Offload Unused Apps on the iPhone will cause it to offload Geofency, as the iPhone doesn't recognize that it is being used. Taking care of that issue made things work smoothly again.
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@jwetzel1492 I believe I've discovered a race condition. Are you checking the state of the output virtual presence sensor before you set it? If not, can you please add a check and if it's already set to the correct value, not set it again?

I have configured multiple Advanced Combiners and it appears they are triggering at nearly the same time and that my virtual presence sensor is getting set multiple times - which results in my departure RM being executed multiple times.

Thank you.

To make sure I understand, are you saying that you have multiple Combiners, all affecting the state of a single output sensor?

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