Suggestions for Guest Detection (iBeacons?)

So far building my smart home has gone slick as snot but I’ve hit two hiccups. I don’t know how best to detect guests accurately and presence is slow to kick in some times!

I’m using Network health to detect devices. For my phone it works perfect but for my partners Samsung A5 I had to add a Tasker triggered switch as a backup because even with the setting, keep WiFi On while sleeping, her phone ignores pings if left locked for 10/15min. Since I was now using Tasker anyways I added low battery switches too so we don’t disappear when our phones die. I’ve set Network Health to 30 sec checks, my gut says I don’t really want to make it more often then that, not knowing how much of a difference each ping makes to the phones battery life. I use to think I’d add all my guests call phones to a guest list but I think it would get tedious plus it turns out my partners Dad doesn’t own one!

So my next thought/goal is to add a door sensor, for triggering Presence ON if the Doors OPENS and Presence was OFF, turning ON the Hallway Lights the second you open the Door. I thought I could use this to detection guests coming and going with a little logic, but I realized its almost impossible to tell if the guests left with one person if the other stayed home or if the guests are still home if we both leave!

My final thought just came to me after remembering hearing about ibeacons while reading presence posts because we give our guests our spare key! Any suggestions on beacons? What do I need to simply detect a key fob entering the house or leaving? My OpenHAB server is running on an always on Windows 7 media PC/Server that is 15ft from the door and it already has an asus bluetooth dongle I use for ps4 controllers does that help? Would you suggest something else completely? I’m looking for that zero knowledge needed just works approach to protect from in-law failure haha!

Check out some of the hping3 threads. While those were written for iPhone detection, they should work on any phone that exhibits this behavior.

Should be negligible to unmeasurable until you get to lots of pings per second.

Look into reelyActive. You will need to get a Pi ZeroW or Pi 3 for best results but it will work like a champ, particularly for ibeacons. It can even work with the existing phones though as you will read it might have difficulty with specifically identifying individual phones as they tend to change up their reported ID to a new random ID. But if all you need to know is whether there is A phone in the house you are good to go.

Personally, I just set a “Guest” switch in my presence group and everything defaults to someone being home until I switch it OFF.

Could I not use the bluetooth binding to detect beacons? Sure I’d love to finally have a good excuse to setup a Pi but i’ve always held off because Ive got a Media Server with power to spare plus the less thinking devices there are the less places for errors to occur!

The Bluetooth binding has never really worked all the well, when you can manage to get it working at all. There is no 2.0 version binding that has been released and the lead developer on it is chris, the same guy building the zwave and zigbee bindings so I doubt it is a high priority.

You could maybe experiment with cygwin and see if you can get reelyActive running that way.

You could try to see if my sensorReporter will work on Windows.

But frankly, it is going to be a whole lot less work in the long run, plus it will be guaranteed to work, if you just host it on a Pi.

Also, 15 ft from the door may not be desirable as you will pick up every device that walks by your house, or your neighbor’s phones and the like.