How is everybody handling visitors with Home / Away modes?

Posted on
Sun Oct 09, 2016 3:55 pm
petematheson offline
Posts: 809
Joined: Sep 14, 2014
Location: Southampton, UK

How is everybody handling visitors with Home / Away modes?

Hey All,

I have Indigo set up to set it's mode to 'Someone is home' or 'House is Empty' depending on the presence of mine or my wife's mobile phone being in the house.
The issue we keep having is when we have visitors over who are then left alone in the house (babysitters, or left there whilst we grab a takeaway etc..) and the house then thinks that it's empty, so turns all the lights off, sets the alarm etc

I thought I had a good workaround which was to create a Visitors variable, which we set to True or False based on when people are here, however we keep forgetting to change it!
Once the visitors variable has been set to True it pings me a text every 30 minutes to remind me to change it back when they've left.

I was thinking to adjust my Home / Away checks to be something like - If house is empty and no movement has been detected for 5 minutes, or any TV is switched on, then don't set away.

Interested to hear if and how everyone else is dealing with these types of scenario?

Posted on
Sun Oct 09, 2016 4:03 pm
durosity offline
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Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne, Ye Ol' England.

Re: How is everybody handling visitors with Home / Away mode

Yeah I think what you're looking for is a 'wasp box' which someone posted about a few years back. Basically using various sensors to determine if anyone is there (as in the box buzzing) or not (the box is quiet). I kinda half wrote a plugin to do this a little while back but got distracted as I always do. But certainly another way of doing it would just be have a schedule that checks X states every 5 mins and updates your variable accordingly based on the states of those devices.

Computer says no.

Posted on
Sun Oct 09, 2016 4:11 pm
petematheson offline
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Joined: Sep 14, 2014
Location: Southampton, UK

Re: How is everybody handling visitors with Home / Away mode

Thing is you don't want it to treat motion as someone is at home as then what's the alarm for! I guess you chose devices that would only be switched on by someone who's meant to be there? If the tv or Sonos is turned on then it's likely to be a valid person, etc... ?


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Posted on
Sun Oct 09, 2016 4:55 pm
ELWOOD offline
Posts: 227
Joined: Feb 11, 2007
Location: Ramsey, NJ

Re: How is everybody handling visitors with Home / Away mode

How are you turning your alarm on and off. When I leave the house I activate the alarm in the away mode at the key pad, that sets indigo to
its away mode. Coming home entering the house I turn off the alarm at the pad and that sets indigo to home mode. If I have a guest and they
leave after I do they can arm the alarm at the keypad without a code number (# + away) they just can't come back in unless I give them there own
code number. Late night when home I arm the alarm with the stay mode at the pad and that sets indigo to late night mode. If my guest messes up and does
not set the alarm or causes and alarm activation indigo sends me an email and I can remotely arm or disarm the system with my cell phone through
indigo.

Elwood

Posted on
Sun Oct 09, 2016 5:50 pm
durosity offline
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Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne, Ye Ol' England.

Re: How is everybody handling visitors with Home / Away mode

Well see it depends. For example if no perimeter zones have been violated then it stands to reason even if there was motion that that's authorised motion. It's kinda a fluid thing. I suppose you could go one step further and have zones that aren't alarmed BUT you don't want your visitors going into so it could send a notification.

Computer says no.

Posted on
Sun Oct 09, 2016 7:05 pm
Swancoat offline
Posts: 502
Joined: Nov 20, 2009
Location: Houston

Re: How is everybody handling visitors with Home / Away mode

I use the alarm status for the big home/away light behavior issues, and then presence detection for my wife and I for finer things.

http://nerdhome.jimdo.com

Posted on
Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:43 am
petematheson offline
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Joined: Sep 14, 2014
Location: Southampton, UK

Re: How is everybody handling visitors with Home / Away mode

ah I need to re-jig my alarm then. We don't always set it due to needing all of the interior doors closed for it to set - need to change the zones around so they're optional and don't prevent us from setting !
So basically everyone is using the manual 'Alarm is set' to determine if the house is meant to be locked / away mode or not.

I was hoping to be able to trigger the alarm to set / unset based on the home / away mode, but sounds like it will cause too many alarms when I forget to set the visitors variable !

Posted on
Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:05 am
durosity offline
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Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne, Ye Ol' England.

Re: How is everybody handling visitors with Home / Away mode

Alternatively get the MAC addresses of all your visitors phones and add them to the list ;)

Computer says no.

Posted on
Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:32 am
MarcoGT offline
Posts: 730
Joined: Sep 11, 2014
Location: Germany

Re: How is everybody handling visitors with Home / Away mode

durosity wrote:
Alternatively get the MAC addresses of all your visitors phones and add them to the list ;)


Well, I am sure some visitors do not know what a MAC address is :D

BTW, I always set home/away mode using Indigo Touch (or DomoPad using tablet on the wall).
I also have a "guest" variable (different behavior of lights, sunshades and so on).

Posted on
Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:21 am
johnpolasek offline
Posts: 874
Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Location: Aggieland, Texas

Re: How is everybody handling visitors with Home / Away mode

I have a "Bypass" variable that I manually set (and a schedule automatically sets every other Wednesday when the housekeeping service is scheduled). The bypass also automatically dies every night at midnight (part of the "goodnight" schedule) or if the number of valid Pibeacons increases (part of the beacon counting trigger script). Occasionally I do forget it, but since my alarm system simply sends me a push alert and I have Prism up, it's not that big a hassle to bring up touch and hit the bypass button on the control page. And I set home/away based on valid beacons present >0/=0... which works pretty well unless my fitbit dies.

Posted on
Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:37 am
mundmc offline
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Re: How is everybody handling visitors with Home / Away mode

Similar to you, I have a "guest override" variable.

I have an "occupancy checker" that runs every 10'. It checks to see if known phones are connected via Bluetooth OR wifi. I use Eventscripts (runs on mac) and fingscan (a great plugin to do this). Fingscan has a trigger that puts whether somebody is connected into a "PERSON wifi" variable. Eventscripts runs an AppleScript that cURL's a true or false into a "PERSON Bluetooth" variable. I rarely, if ever, get false negatives with this approach.


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Posted on
Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:08 am
kidney offline
Posts: 212
Joined: Jul 15, 2007

Re: How is everybody handling visitors with Home / Away mode

The way I managed all of that is alarm based only.

If all of the zone greater or equal to 60 minutes then it put the alarms in stay and if the last zone triggered zone was door it sets the alarm to Away arm.

So when we go to bed the alarm will put 60 minutes after the last interior sensor is triggered and the condition is if my door group is greater than 60 the put the alarm in stay mode.

You can change the 60 minute to whatever you want....

Work well for me.

Posted on
Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:06 am
ryanbuckner offline
Posts: 331
Joined: Oct 08, 2011

Re: How is everybody handling visitors with Home / Away mode

I too rely on phone presence to determine if the house is occupied, and I also assume that the house is occupied if anyone physically uses a switch, dimmer, or KPL in the house: Since I have a large dog, I don't use motion sensors to determine presence, and the garage motion sensor is an indication that I'm probably coming or going.

I have modes for maids, visitors, babysitter that are activated by checking my google calendar. If I forget to add a visitor (defined by someone spending the night) or the maids (triggers only fire for these scenes when in house_cleaning mode) I have toggles in my dashboard control page.
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Posted on
Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:08 pm
ryanbuckner offline
Posts: 331
Joined: Oct 08, 2011

Re: How is everybody handling visitors with Home / Away mode

Hi Ryan In your post below you mention using google calendars for maid/visitors modes. Would you mind sharing some details how you do that? Cheers Noel Subject: How is everybody handling visitors with Home / Away modes?


See code below:

Code: Select all
tell application "Calendar" to activate
delay 5
tell application "System Events"
   tell process "iCal"
      keystroke "r" using {command down, shift down}
   end tell
end tell

set {year:y, month:m, day:d} to current date
set str to (m as string) & " " & (d as string) & " " & (y as string)
set today to date str
set tomorrow to today + (60 * 60 * 24)

tell application "Calendar"
   tell calendar "My  Home Calendar"
      set curr to every event whose start date is greater than or equal to today and start date is less than or equal to tomorrow
      delay 10
      if (count of items of curr) is greater than 0 then
         repeat with b in curr
            set a to summary of b
            if a is equal to "Guest" then
               tell application "IndigoServer"
                  if value of variable "guestMode" is not equal to "true" then
                     set value of variable "guestMode" to "true"
                  else
                     log "Not setting guestMode again, repeat"
                  end if
               end tell
            else
               tell application "IndigoServer"
                  set value of variable "guestMode" to "false"
                  log "Looks like no sleepover tonight!"
               end tell
            end if
         end repeat
      else
         tell application "IndigoServer"
            set value of variable "guestMode" to "false"
            log "Looks like no sleepover tonight!"
         end tell
      end if
   end tell
end tell

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