Can I get a Phone location within my house?

Hi - I’m trying to find a way to make sure everyones phones are plugged into a nighttime charging station downstairs… I have 4 children (plus my wife and I!) who tend to take their phones up to their bedrooms at night. Which means they are not charged for school and more importantly everyone is staying up way too late.

I’ve set up a charging station downstairs so I want everyone to plug in at night. Is there anyway to make sure this happens? We all have android phones…but they don’t all have NFC. I guess I could stick NFC tags on phones?

Ideally this would be logged in Openhab.

Any other ideas?

You could use a find server. Just search in the forum form inhouse location or find it is an article from M. Storm.

Another idea is to add contacts to you changing station and if after a specified time no phone is the an alert goes off. Sirens, flashing light, voices messages that … has not plced his7her phone in the changing station


Thanks - I had a play with the find app - unfortunately I think you need several wifi access points for triangulate properly. I’ve just got one central one so it does not manage to accurately locate me in the house.

Yes contacts with a raspberry pi could work - I guess I could also turn off the charger when nothing is connected.

You don’t need many, and they don’t need to be yours. Your neighbour’s do fine, too. Unless you’re living in the desert there’s usually enough (foreign) APs in range for FIND to work.

PS: and the most simple (and by way not worst) solution to your problem is: do nothing. They’ll learn all by themselves…

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We’re not in a desert but still a long way from neighbours wifi so no luck there!

Actually we are all pretty bad (parents included!) I’ve found not having a charger in the bedroom has been the best solution. One of the issues is in fact openhab as I’ve got used to using my phone last thing to turn off and close things!

I’ve ordered a muti charger and then I’ll hide away all the bedroom chargers…

You can also deploy additional APs yourself, I got one for as little as 25€. 3-4 APs are sufficient for find to work, and will provide you with additional bandwidth and coverage, too. Especially since you don’t have neighbours*.

*: person to occupy WiFi channels you need

Depends on your phone I suppose. You could use tasker with android phones to send a signal to openhab if the phone is plugged in.

To elaborate on Mark’s solution:

  • each phone has Tasker installed
  • a Tasker profile to trigger when
    • the phone is located at your home (wifi within range)
    • it is around bed time
    • phone is on the charger
  • the entry task will issue a command to an OH Item through the REST API to turn on a “Julian_Phone_Charging” Item
  • the exit task will issue a command to that same Item to turn it OFF when any of the above conditions are no longer met

On the OH side you create an Item for each phone to indicate when it is charging or not and have a cron triggered or Time of Day triggered Rule to check if all the phones are charging and if not alert as appropriate.


Tasker has the ability to export a Task as an APK and install it on another phone, so you could potentially only install Tasker on your phone and export an APK to add this task to everyone else’s phone. Though I’ve never done so so I don’t know if there is some limitation that would get in the way in this use case.

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Thanks yes I’ve used tasker in some in wall tablets to wake up on motion - could also use that to catch out if they are using their phones late at night! My 12 year son cheated last night by leaving just his phone cover by the charger…Id need to see if you could run takser in the background without being noticed!

You can turn off “Run In Foreground” and “Show Notification Icon” in Tasker. However, Android may close Tasker when resources become low when “Run In Foreground” is disabled. You will have to test to see if this will become a problem for you.

You can also apply a lock code to open Tasker so they cannot open the app themselves. However, none of this is fool-proof for a determined user.

You may get more “buy-in” with your family if you tie in some more useful automation for each person, which is reliant on Tasker running. This way, the desire to have this functionality might be stronger than the desire to have it running for this purpose!

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How about connecting the charger to a smart power outlet and monitoring the power output?

Off topic sorry, but just wondering what setup you have to trigger the tablet wake up based on motion?

Hi I use tasker with an app called motion detector. The screen timeouts normally after 30 seconds and tasker wakes it up if motion detector sends a message. This is on android. You can also get tasker to run on startup then start openhab and begin motion detection. Works nicely.

Also if they are android phones you could use Zanzito App I have this on my phone and my kids it has a heart beat that reports if it is charging and alot of other details. it integrates a couple different apps. FIND, OwnTracks plus some other useful for parents features. Like is the screen on, is the phone unlocked, what is the battery level, what wifi is it connected to, you can instruct the phone to take a photo of it’s surroundings. yes there is a pay for license($5.99) that turns off demo but it can go to the google family library so you only need to pay once. you can also password protect the config so it can’t be changed.