I have recently come across a presence detection system called room-assistant ( It is able to track Bluetooth devices (including Apple Watch, other smartwatches, and smartphones) down to room level. The key is to put a raspberry pi in each room you want to monitor. As a test, I have configured an RPi4 in the bedroom. With only one device its either “bedroom” or “not home”. However, the system works fine. It was written for Home Assistant users but works out-of-the-box with Openhab. Set up was easy and Openhab auto-discovered the devices. I’m planning on putting 3 more devices in the house.

A RPi per room is overkill. There’s systems to work with BT beacons, too.
Did you check out FIND ?


Hmm I’m interested in both.
But looking into your topic it seems that FIND is only available for Android? I mainly have iOS devices…
Also I assume that many home automation enthusiast already have several RPis in their homes (I have 4, placed at different locations, each serves different things), but I can easily install this on these RPIs

Yes, I have seen FIND before but I have an iPhone so its not an option for me.

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So I have decided to go further with room-assistant. I have ordered 3 RPi Zero W’s to monitor the living room, office, and exercise room.

Now I need to develop some rules to take advantage of this new capability.

I would be interested in how you will use this feature…

  1. Turn off lights automatically, 5 minutes after the room is empty.
  2. I have LED lights under our bed that come on when someone enters the room when its dark. However my wife usually goes to bed before me. So if she is in the room when I enter, the bed light does not turn on.
  3. When I enter the living room, the bedroom, or the office, jazz plays on the stereo or Amazon Echo, depending on the room. When my wife enters the room, it turns off (she’s not a jazz fan)
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Hi kchest,
I’m also trying, having only Apple stuff at home and so can’t use FIND. I’m actually struggling in understanding the mqtt structure. I’ve several beacons and I see those are picked up. I see the topics like this: homeassistant/sensor/room-assistant/ble-e20a2551a01a one for each tag. And the corresponding state here: room-assistant/sensor/ble-e20a2551a01a/state but that state is ALWAYS not_home. Altough I can from the logs that the sensor is picked up (otherwise it would even come up on mqtt). Any idea what would be causing that? Thanks!

In each beacon’s configuration file you can configure a minimum distance to qualify a sensor as being in that room. It is set with the maxDistance setting. I would suggest you increase the maximum distance.

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Hi kchest! Just realized I didn’t thank you for you answer, that was the guidance I needed, working flawlessly now! Thanks!

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He guys, just found this thread and wondering how your experience with room-assistant is so far?
I am thinking of setting up some Pi Zero Ws with it in a few rooms to monitor occupation.
How accurate do they measure and how does the “fencing” work, esp. if rooms are close by (say living room and kitchen seperated by a wall)?

Bottom Line up front: I am no longer using Room Assistant. But not because I was dissatisfied, but because it was overtaken by another event (which I will explain.)

But to answer your question, Room Assistant worked fine. It was able to accurately track me. It takes some tweaking of the RSSI settings to get the accuracy desired, but that wasn’t a problem.

After setting it up my wife complained of phone problems. She couldn’t connect to the wifi, nor her smartwatch. After some investigation I discovered that it was the bluetooth signal from the Room Assistant nodes (R Pi Zero W). Its a known issue with her model of Samsung phone.

Unrelated to this, I upgraded my home wifi network using Ubiquiti’s Unifi line of equipment. I had an access point in most of the rooms of the house (its a solidly built German house with thick brick walls). I then learned about the Unifi binding, and how it could also track people’s movement within the house (by tracking which AP they were connected to.) So in an effort to reduce the gadgets laying around in the rooms of our house I decided to remove the Room Assistant nodes.

That being said I can recommend the system. It worked fine, while I had it. Beware if anyone in your household uses a Samsung Galaxy S10 :wink:

FWIW, we recently upgraded FIND to v3 in openHABian, it now also works with BT beacons in addition to WiFi so pretty much an improvement and well integrated.

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Thanks for your reply!
I also run unifi equipment, whereas only one AP, hence, at least for the moment, this would not work (I use it though for general home/away presence).
Good to hear that room-assistant in general works, I got a mix of devices (OnePlus, iPhone, Garmin watches), hence might try some day.

Thanks Markus,
that is indeed good to hear. Only gap would be still the iOS thing then I assume?
Due to one person in the house running an iPhone I will need a solution that works here (could stick a BT beacon onto the phone but that is not great either).

I have an iPhone and Apple Watch, Room Assistant worked well with my Apple Watch.