Shut of specific cameras on presence

Dear all,

I am currently - quite successfully - detecting the presence of myself and my wife based on wifi connection of our phones with a bee-in-the-box twist to maintain precision. However, I have a camera in the carport I would very much like to shut of when we enter/exit the house.

As far as I can figure, that is achievable to various degrees by either;

a) detect the position of myself and my wife in relation to the carport
b) detect the presence of the car

The latter (b) is ofc easier, but would fail when the car is there in the morning and we are about to leave. The sooner (a) would be smarter, but seems quite challenging. I know that @rlkoshak has a tutorial out there based on ReelyActive, and I am considering that angle with a BTLE dongle in the carkeys along with a Pi0 or similar running near the Carport.

Any alternative suggestions? Any thoughts on if what I am aiming for is reasonable or too complicated to achieve any acceptable precision?


(edited for spelling and some clarity)

Do you both have Android phones? If so I’d recommend FIND instead of reelyActive, for no other reason than you wouldn’t have to get BTLE keyfobs. But reelyActive should work pretty well for this if you can’t use FIND.

You could also potentially do this with a BTLE beacon but I’m not as familiar with the ins and outs of how to make that work.

I’d be interested to seeing more about what you’ve done. Presence detection is a hot topic here on the forum and I’ve seen examples of bee/wasp-in-the-box using PIRs but not using wifi.

As far as your (b) is concerned, I’m not sure I understand the problem. The car will be there when you are about to leave for sure, but it will be gone when you do leave and the camera will turn on then. Do you want it to turn off before that?

There’s a OH tutorial on FIND, too. It’s also coming preconfigured as part of openHABian.
FIND3 (no tutorial yet, sorry) now works with BT dongles, too, in addition to WiFi strength triangulation.
But I, too, haven’t understood what you want to do with the camera and why.
FWIW, there’s cameras to only record/stream on movement detection, and some you can use as movement detectors, too (see Foscam thread, I guess you’ll find it if you search for it).

The scenario, to explain a bit further, is a motion activated Arlo camera aimed through the carport towards the front door, while also covering the second door from the carport. The camera will activate and start recording whenever we walk or drive in front of it.

Secondary cameras inside and in the back are deactivated based on presence and status of magnets in the backdoor, which works well. The front is more complicated as it would ideally shut off for a few minutes both when we arrive home - and leave. By car or on foot. I can’t really rely on the door magnets, since we might open the door for someone in a situation where we def want recorded data afterwards. Nor can I rely on presence; there are ofc many scenarios where we are present but still want active cameras. I could read a beacon placed in the cars and stop the camera for a few minutes on arrival (or even a version of the bee-in-box) - but it only solves the situation for arrival scenarios, not for leaving.

Nope. :frowning: iOS people here, and we all know what that mean for consistency in BT broadcast.

It’s actually quite simple! I use DD-WRT on a router to flip a presence switch in OH based on the presence of any of our phones. Detected presence is always valid - but absence is only valid when both phones are down coinciding with a magnet open/close event on the main doors. That will trigger a timer to allow for incorrect absence (I.e. us moving outdoors and suffer momentary signal loss), which if no presence event is triggered will proceed to a final flip of the presence switch into absence.

I actually acted against my own moral standards and ordered a couple via Alibaba. Been laying in my desk for months waiting for a proper use case. ^^

Anyway, I never heard of FIND so I will look into that for sure, no matter what.


Should be clearer now, I hope (answer below to Rick)! :slight_smile:

I will check that tutorial out for sure! Thanks as always, Markus!

This is a really complicated scenario and I’m not sure how reelyActive (or FIND) is going to help. What you need to have is a definitive event to indicated that you are leaving and not just opening the door for someone, opening the door to check the mail, etc. I don’t see any combination of your current set of events that can distinguish between those cases. I don’t think this is something you can automate. You may need a “leaving” button near the door you tap to tell the camera to not record for how ever much time. Beyond that, you would need a system to be able to read minds and understand the reason why you’ve opened the front door.

Damn, a bit late; we’re touching in quite a good April’s fools joke here. ^^

I actually have a “The Button” (if I remember the product name correctly) sitting by the door. Might be you’re right. But I am still playing with the notion of reading the proximity of those keyfobs. Still, I realize the precision is likely going to be anything but reliable. Ah well. I keep winding up at the same conclusion, t.b.h.

As Rich mentioned it’s for Android only, so sorry and save your time.

You might also want to check out owntracks with the gpstracker binding. It’ll flip a switch item whenever you enter or leave the geofence around your house.

Been biting my tongue … but why do you want to disable (presumably) recording? Is it a privacy thing, or you’re seeking to maximize storage capacity? (I’m thinking it’s cheaper & more useful to buy more of that!)


this isn’t so bad… see cat thread

Some cameras have line crossing alarms that only trigger if movement crosses a virtual line in a certain direction. If you leave your front door it will ignore but if movement goes towards the door from the street it will trigger. Cameras have a lot of smart alarms these days and you can even get ones that know if the car is in your parking space or not. Dahua and hikvision have these in some models and the Ipcamera Binding makes it simple to have automations occur on the events.