[Updated] Presence Central



iPhone + Homekit = extremely good presence.

It's not an easy thing to build out, but it seems very reliable to me.

You create 2 Homekit Automations (one for arrive, one for depart,) and they update Hubitat virtual devices. That part is apple easy, the hurdle is to enable automations by having a Homekit hub. AppleTV, HomePod, (always on) iPad.

Next comes Homebridge and a RaspberryPI, Apple Computer or a Linux box can be used. So lots of options to get Homebridge running.

In my case, (the most recent time) I got it started using an iPad that is always on and that worked great, as expected. Then I transferred the Homekit hub to an AppleTV. That worked and still is.

Homebridge is running on my Mac Mini Media Server along with everything else I can get on there. (DNS, DHCP, Web, etc.)

The iPhone's Home App, via Location Services, signals the Homekit hub, which runs the automation that informs Homebridge to set (or reset) the virtual on Hubitat.

Homebridge is really just a Node.js based app, so it works on anything that does node.js, I imagine.


initially thought of hardwiring but it may slowly drain your car battery especially if the step down converter fails. Better to power it off something that disconnects (usb or car lighter) when the car turns off or an independant battery source.

homekit sounds interesting been looking for an excuse to play with a RaspberryPI the only problem is it's Apple!


That’s why I did the conversion to aa batteries.
They have lasted around a year so far, are really cheap and don’t have any influence on the car if something goes wrong (perfectly possible with a cheap Chinese dc-dc converter)

As I use Presence Central, all my actions are based upon virtual presence sensors so if I have a problem with the sensor, I can just swap it out in PC without having to change any apps that rely on the car presence.



At these prices I'm limited to using our phones for Presence Sensing ....


Where are you?
They are only £30 in the UK



Australia !


Would shipping costs from the US and duties make the price comparable, or is that one of those sellers gouging customers because the item is not readily available?


That's from our local Amazon store !

3 x the US price RETAIL price = gouging (in my book)

Yes there's shipping..... but it's a keyfob !
Yes there might even be duty and taxes......but it's US $20 !!


We go through the same thing here in Canada. When I lived in Ontario it was cheaper for us to drive a few hours to the US to buy things...


Yep. $48 new on Amazon.ca - I'll second @csteele 's suggestion for iPhone and Homebridge if you're a iOS user. It's damn reliable. I've added a two level trigger to mine by using the IFTTT trigger from my TP-Link router. This prevents my front door from opening if I pass out and back into the Geofence area without going up to my house.


Ha! I had to read that sentence a second time. First time, I thought you had an automation for when you drive home drunk. I’m so sorry!


LOL. I mean "out of" obviously. That's hilarious. If I were to drive drunk, I deserve to be left outside to sleep!


copied from other thread:

Feature request:

I’d like to have arrival and departure notifications, but it drives me nuts when my wife and I leave together and then my phone informs me that she has left. That’s not a useful notification, I already know we’ve left. What I would like is to have a notification only when not leaving together.

I had this set up in webCoRE on smartthings (and briefly hubitat before I nixed webCoRE) but I have not been able to replicate this with the built in hubitat apps. The way I had it working before was that if someone’s presence changed, it would then wait for about 60 seconds and check to see if the other person’s presence changed. If they both changed within that minute, it would not send a message. If only one person’s presence changed, it would send the message (and I had it send different messages if the other person was home or away).

This worked surprisingly well. 60 seconds seemed to be the sweet spot to eliminate false positives, but short enough that after my wife triggered it, it would finally send right around the time she pulled in the driveway.

I don’t know if this app or your presence app would be a better place for this idea, but I’d love to have this function back.

also: if we leave together, my phone may exit the radius a few seconds before her and then I’ll get the message. Hence the 60 second delay.

The delay is to make up for the imperfect accuracy of the presence sensors.


So, your looking for a configurable delay before checking again to see if both presence sensors have left.
Then if they have, don’t send the message?

Is that what you are looking for?



Leave or arrive. But essentially, yes I think so.

I already get too many messages on my phone, I want to try and eliminate the ones that don't tell me something new.


@Cobra rather than controlling a switch could it control a virtual presence device?


Steven, that’s exactly what I use it for (a virtual presence sensor that is also a switch)
There was one on ST called Virtual Presence Plus - I ported it to HE very easily.
It’s on my github if you want a copy.



perfect thanks


@Cobra Andy, how do you account for the different states of the different items? I was doing this ‘multi device to virtual’ before, however I would end up with false home reports. I forget now how I handled it, I think I had all=away, any one return=home, but I always had to manually tweak things as they got out of sync.

Also, from you PC app, are you saying Group 1 is an individual, install per person and group 2 is a macro for lights and alarms?


I’m not sure what you are asking me here
Are you saying Presence Central didn’t work for you?
I’ve been using it for months without problems.

You can use group 1 to combine multiple presence sensors into one - this really helps if any sensor doesn’t report occasionally.
I use this in my ‘Andy’ example above. And I set up a child for each person.

PC does not have any direct control over alarms per se, just switches (and virtual presence sensors that work as a switch)

This is what group2 does.