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Author Topic: How are you implementing Geofencing into your home automation?  (Read 25760 times)

Offline jpete7683

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I thought I would start this thread so people could share ideas on how geofencing can make their life easier with their home automation system.  I will start it off by telling how I currently am using it:

Both my wife and I are users of iViri (big surprise, the developer and his wife use his app) and we both only have 1 geofences setup on each of our iPhones.  That geofence is our home and each of use have assigned a unique virtual switch to our geofence on our device.  The geofence is set to 250m so when we are a couple blocks away from the house it goes off and disables our virtual switch and when we are pulling down the block or as late as pulling into the drive way it signals our corresponding virtual switch to ON state.  I then used PLEG to incorporate what should happen if only one has left the geofence, or both have left the geofence or when one comes home vs both coming home and if it is night or day out.  So with all this complex logic it basically works out to turning on and off lights in different parts of the house when we pull up to the house and shutting everything down when both phones leave the house.  It is pretty simple in design but very powerful to switching our thermostat away and saving us money.  The final thing it does is if both phones leave the vacation virtual switch is activated and if that condition stays true for 12hr+ then the Ghost Plugin is activated to simulate someone is home.  Also the thermostat is turned off as long as the temperature in the house is between 60 and 80 degrees and turns on when it falls outside of that.  The mode is set based on the temperature outside.  All in All it is pretty cool and I have impressed a lot of people with it.

How are others using geofences?
I am the developer of iViri.  iViri is available in Apple Store.  Check out its Voice Control and Geofence integration, which causes less battery drain than the other options for locating an iphone.

Offline jpete7683

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Re: How are you implementing Geofencing into your home automation?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2014, 04:51:33 pm »
No one else is using geofencing?  I know the app hasn't been out very long, but it has gotten a good amount of downloads and users in this short period of time.
I am the developer of iViri.  iViri is available in Apple Store.  Check out its Voice Control and Geofence integration, which causes less battery drain than the other options for locating an iphone.

Offline papreston

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Re: How are you implementing Geofencing into your home automation?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2014, 07:14:44 pm »
I just started a few weeks ago. I only have a simple "away" scene that triggers when I leave the house.  I would like to do more when I get more devices.

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Offline cubs2b23

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How are you implementing Geofencing into your home automation?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2014, 08:21:38 pm »
@jpete As you know from our previous conversations I am definitely going to put this to good use. My main purpose for now will be to control the thermostat (which is on its way). I'm still trying to settle on whether a distance based (ie multiple geofences) or time based (how long I've been away) will suit my needs better. I don't want the thermostat to be ramping up and down constantly if we aren't far from home. Yet it's entirely possible to only be 5-10 miles away but be gone for more than a couple hours.


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Offline haavard

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Re: How are you implementing Geofencing into your home automation?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2014, 04:39:44 am »
@jpete
Can you report on how battery is affected when you use geofence? I know you say that it is not draining your batteri, but how much are we talking about?

I guess what is stopping me from using the geofence now is that it is not possible to switch the multiswitch app.
I have converted all my virtual switches to multiswitch to save memory.

Sorry,
I see that you have answered most of this in this tread:
http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,23991.0.html

regards
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 04:43:31 am by haavard »

Offline amg0

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Re: How are you implementing Geofencing into your home automation?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2014, 07:28:54 am »
I thought I would start this thread so people could share ideas on how geofencing can make their life easier with their home automation system.  I will start it off by telling how I currently am using it:

Both my wife and I are users of iViri (big surprise, the developer and his wife use his app) and we both only have 1 geofences setup on each of our iPhones.  That geofence is our home and each of use have assigned a unique virtual switch to our geofence on our device.  The geofence is set to 250m so when we are a couple blocks away from the house it goes off and disables our virtual switch and when we are pulling down the block or as late as pulling into the drive way it signals our corresponding virtual switch to ON state.  I then used PLEG to incorporate what should happen if only one has left the geofence, or both have left the geofence or when one comes home vs both coming home and if it is night or day out.  So with all this complex logic it basically works out to turning on and off lights in different parts of the house when we pull up to the house and shutting everything down when both phones leave the house.  It is pretty simple in design but very powerful to switching our thermostat away and saving us money.  The final thing it does is if both phones leave the vacation virtual switch is activated and if that condition stays true for 12hr+ then the Ghost Plugin is activated to simulate someone is home.  Also the thermostat is turned off as long as the temperature in the house is between 60 and 80 degrees and turns on when it falls outside of that.  The mode is set based on the temperature outside.  All in All it is pretty cool and I have impressed a lot of people with it.

How are others using geofences?

I do this but I use the IPhonePlugin that I wrote and which does not require any Phone app to be loaded  ( http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/board,59.0.html . truly settings for polling are important to be fined tuned but you can manage to not impact battery too much by "muting" polling at unecessary times. the polling to the phone can be made depending on the distance so you can really fine tune to your particular personal needs and with a bit of PLEG you can even suppress pollings at unnecessary times

Offline jpete7683

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Re: How are you implementing Geofencing into your home automation?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2014, 09:56:14 am »
I do this but I use the IPhonePlugin that I wrote and which does not require any Phone app to be loaded  ( http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/board,59.0.html . truly settings for polling are important to be fined tuned but you can manage to not impact battery too much by "muting" polling at unecessary times. the polling to the phone can be made depending on the distance so you can really fine tune to your particular personal needs and with a bit of PLEG you can even suppress pollings at unnecessary times

Nice plug for the iPhonePlugin :) (no pun intended)..... I actually used the iPhonePlugin for some time which is why I ended up adding this functionality to iViri.  Not only does this not require any fine tuning, it just uses Cell Tower Triangulation and there is zero battery hit and nothing really to worry about or fine tune or have to remember to switch your mute button, etc.  You don't have to wait for a poll to occur so for your home scene to trigger as you walk into the house and make it half way through before your house reacts to your presence.  Instead with iViri the app just reacts to the enter/exit of a geographic region and changes your switch.  On top of that this technology is now being coded one step further to make your environment become aware of your presences by using ibeacons.  This second part is currently under development but it will finally bring to iOS what RFID has been doing and NFC for Android.
I am the developer of iViri.  iViri is available in Apple Store.  Check out its Voice Control and Geofence integration, which causes less battery drain than the other options for locating an iphone.

Offline jpete7683

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Re: How are you implementing Geofencing into your home automation?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2014, 10:27:02 am »
@jpete
Can you report on how battery is affected when you use geofence? I know you say that it is not draining your batteri, but how much are we talking about?

I guess what is stopping me from using the geofence now is that it is not possible to switch the multiswitch app.
I have converted all my virtual switches to multiswitch to save memory.

Sorry,
I see that you have answered most of this in this tread:
http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,23991.0.html

regards

As for battery, I have not noticed a difference between using geofences and not using them.  iViri is using the same technology that apples reminders app and others are using probably without your knowledge of that use.  Geofencing and region monitoring don't use your GPS services on the device to obtain your location or figure out if you exited or entered a region, instead it just uses your cell phone radio signal to use Cell phone tower triangulation.  I plan to bring in support for multiswitch in a near future release, can you point me to a forum post that discusses the virtual switch memory usage?
I am the developer of iViri.  iViri is available in Apple Store.  Check out its Voice Control and Geofence integration, which causes less battery drain than the other options for locating an iphone.

Offline haavard

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How are you implementing Geofencing into your home automation?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2014, 12:47:00 pm »
Well there has been a discussion regarding memory in this thread: http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=22002

And:
http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=22672
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 12:52:41 pm by haavard »

Offline bobnatale

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Re: How are you implementing Geofencing into your home automation?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2014, 12:55:16 pm »
Quote
On top of that this technology is now being coded one step further to make your environment become aware of your presences by using ibeacons.  This second part is currently under development but it will finally bring to iOS what RFID has been doing and NFC for Android.

Really looking forward to this.  What is the timeframe?

I just downloaded the app today, will post again once I get the geofencing setup to let you know how I am using it. Nice work on the app!

Offline jpete7683

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Re: How are you implementing Geofencing into your home automation?
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2014, 01:05:05 pm »
Quote
On top of that this technology is now being coded one step further to make your environment become aware of your presences by using ibeacons.  This second part is currently under development but it will finally bring to iOS what RFID has been doing and NFC for Android.

Really looking forward to this.  What is the timeframe?

I just downloaded the app today, will post again once I get the geofencing setup to let you know how I am using it. Nice work on the app!

I have emailed estimote to start investigating the licensing agreements and see what kind of support they offer a developer when dealing with their product.  I have some initial communication but waiting for some more details around how they licenses their API.  I am also looking into some other BLE 4.0 technology that could potentially be utilized, I want to come up with the cheapest and go from there.  Thanks for your interest in iViri and v1.2 is currently being worked on that adds additional support for more devices, plugins, etc..
I am the developer of iViri.  iViri is available in Apple Store.  Check out its Voice Control and Geofence integration, which causes less battery drain than the other options for locating an iphone.

Offline cubs2b23

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Re: How are you implementing Geofencing into your home automation?
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2014, 01:17:27 pm »
@jpete,

You might also want to try twocanoes.  Their bleu station iBeacon is only $40.

Offline jpete7683

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Re: How are you implementing Geofencing into your home automation?
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2014, 01:43:14 pm »
@jpete,

You might also want to try twocanoes.  Their bleu station iBeacon is only $40.

$249 is a little steep to get access to their SDK.  Estimotes is less than $100 and this app hasn't really made any money in the app store so this is all coming out of my own pocket to get integrated, so I am looking for the cheapest solution.  I figured for what all it offers and supports $2.99 would generate a influx of downloads instead of charging $9.99 or more for the app, but at this point it almost seems that the price should be raised so that there is money coming in to fund stuff like BLE technologies and proximity aware Vera's and implementing push notifications.  FYI - I have push notifications working with iViri but still trying to figure out how to approach this since it cost me $20 a month to host the service and only in a couple months time the money is coming out of my own pocket to keep it running, so I may opt to keep push notifications out of the app.  Would like some feedback from the users of iViri on how we should approach this monthly fee.  Thoughts?
I am the developer of iViri.  iViri is available in Apple Store.  Check out its Voice Control and Geofence integration, which causes less battery drain than the other options for locating an iphone.

Offline shmixx

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Re: How are you implementing Geofencing into your home automation?
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2014, 01:50:05 pm »
So I'll chime in here to add that the Geofencing has been working really well for me. It was a rough start as I was running through Beta with jpete to test it out in it's initial infancy. The current released version, is working like a charm. I've got 2 virtual switches (1 for me, 1 for the significant other) that indicate whether we are home/away (on/off). Using PLEG, I'm able to program a multitude of actions to happen automatically based off this methodology. The battery hit is minimal if at all. If you use Passbook for things like a Starbucks card, Flight tickets, etc, it leverages the same concept. jpete mentioned reminders, which I often use as well (siri remind me to do X when I get home).

I don't want to go around bashing different apps, plugins, etc, so I won't go into detail on all the different approaches I've attempted for optimizing this experience. I'll just go on record to say that iViri has provided a capabilities that I think many have wanted to have in an app, but no app has delivered on. The geofence capability alone, even if only for virtual switches, provides enough value to justify the price of the app. The added value of voice recognition, customized dashboard views, the plans for future versions, lead me to believe it will be a winner in the long run for many Vera owners. I'd challenge anyone if you've already spent $5+ on apps/plugins, why not try this one. It's a small cost to gain a large amount of usability.

And for anyones edification, no I don't help create the app or gain any profit from it. I've worked on it with jpete as a beta tester and continue to provide feedback like everyone else. I've just found enough value that it's worth illustrating my positive experience so others can gain the same, and a deserving dev can receive the accolades for their product.

Offline shmixx

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Re: How are you implementing Geofencing into your home automation?
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2014, 01:54:09 pm »
FYI - I have push notifications working with iViri but still trying to figure out how to approach this since it cost me $20 a month to host the service and only in a couple months time the money is coming out of my own pocket to keep it running, so I may opt to keep push notifications out of the app.  Would like some feedback from the users of iViri on how we should approach this monthly fee.  Thoughts?

My two cents - would be to not push heavily on adding the feature unless there is a large enough need from users. Unfortunately there are so many options for pushing notifications, it seems silly to try and make iViri into a jack of all trades app until it has enough backers. I had originally thought I would like/need it as I was using a different app and leveraging the push notifications it provided. Since I was also using Vera Alerts, that was 2 plugins on my Vera, a license for VA, and an app that didn't do much with the alerts other than show them and go away. I've since moved to simply VA and Pushover. I've never been happier actually, and I have the ability to push URL's through the notifications to enable further actions.