I've been using the Ping feature with our smartphones for a few years. I set each phone to a static IP address then ping for them every 2 minutes if I think no one is home and every 30 min if I think someone is home. I use perimeter sensors (sensors in/on the garage) to toggle between 2 & 30 minute ping cycles. It's worked reliably for knowing someone is home (and who) since I set it up. 

Overall I basically use this setup to determine if anyone is home to set the thermostat and security feature. I also use it to set when vacation mode is started and stopped with a little algorithm that runs if we come back from vacation. There is also a guest mode based on guest smartphones. 

I've yet to figure out the usefulness of the presence/occupancy modules. I have nearly all rooms sensored but have not seen how to utilize this for a better situation than the pinging idea. 

Regards,
Book Knight

On Jul 25, 2014, at 2:34 PM, Timothy Spaulding <spaulding@icanbrew.com> wrote:

I’ve tried using the existing presence/occupancy modules, but gave up as I couldn’t make it work ideally for me.   Also, I  do want that part to work someday, I am less concerned where someone is in the house at the moment—more if they are at home or not.

 

Thanks for the links.

 

From: Kevin Robert Keegan [mailto:kevin@krkeegan.com]
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2014 2:16 PM
To: Timothy Spaulding
Cc: The main list for the MisterHouse home automation program
Subject: Re: [mh] presence/occupancy: what person is home

 

So the Presence_Monitor Occupancy_Monitor modules:

 

http://misterhouse.wikispaces.com/Presence_Monitor

 

Do some of the code work.  I do find them rather complicated and don't use them, but apparently you can get them to work for you.

 

On the hardware side I have thought about a lot of things.

 

Bluetooth - seems to make sense since most people in the house carry their phone with them everywhere.  I figure I would need a couple receivers, in theory at least 4 to triangulate where people are based on the signal strengths at each of the receivers.  But due to the oddities of wireless and walls, I figure I might need more.  Obviously this gets expensive, so I was thinking about raspberry pi's, but that is still rather expensive.  I also worry about battery drain on the phone.

 

Microphones - Wink/Quirky has a presence detection device that uses, among other things, a microphone to calculate a loudness over time.  It seems cheaper, less complicated, and less battery intensive.  Although I suspect it is far less accurate.

 

Thermal - Cost and programming aside, this seems like the best solution.  It would actually "see" people in a room.  But we are talking something like $50 just for a thermal sensor. http://www.digikey.com/product-highlights/us/en/omron-d6t-thermal-sensor/2745 Although it does look cool https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2m4PmZRx-U

 

Kevin

 

On Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 10:11 AM, Timothy Spaulding <spaulding@icanbrew.com> wrote:

Hi All,

 

Does anyone do anything with regards to knowing what person is at home and handling different lights/objects accordingly?

 

Oh, did I mentioned reliably?

 

A while back, I attempted something with Bluetooth; but this didn’t work once the phone went upstairs and/or out of range in some other fashion.

 

I like the idea of RFID chip in a wallet/bag, but haven’t found anything I can wrap my head around yet. 

 

Other ideas and approaches would be most welcome.


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