Best option to show presence (or not) of a person

Hi there,

I would like to have the presence (or not) of different people when they are in the house or not.
What is the best option to do so … I assume this is the mobile phone to check where it is located and if located home, then “present”, if not located home then “outside” …

But how to you “link” your mobile phone ?
Are you obliged to install the app Companion on all phones you want to locate ??

I had tried with Owntrack, but it is not reliable, and only sends updates when huge moves are done, and you also need to allow notifications of the app on the phone, which is not ok for me.

Related to Companion app, I have it on my phone, but still it shows I am “away” :

How do I need to behave with my phone (and the companion app) to show correct status in the tracker ?

Or any oher way ?

Thanks you !

There are lots of ways to do it, but I use the HA app and subscribe to the Nabu Casa cloud as it supports the devs and (I think) it’s the easiest way.

However, there are other integrations you can use (but you’ll still require a mobile phone). You can also see if the phone (yep, still need that) is connected over WIFI to your local network.

I guess you could also have people swipe in/out (or push their own presence button) but people will forget to do that.

ok - so wifi home is also one option.
Other option is then to have the Companion app on the phone, but as I say and you see on y screenshots, it doesn’t work for me, though I can open the companion app on the phone and connect to my HA, HA is showing me as "away.

Did you link the device tracker entity with your person in settings > people?

You link trackers with persons you want to track then the state of a zone is the count of person entities in that zone. Count of person entities in zone.home = count of persons at home.

Yes Nathan :


but this device_tracker what entity is it using on the device to locate it ?
The Companion app when it is open ?
The device “GPS” location ?
The device if connected to wifi ?

By the way, I only have very few entities linked to that device as I can see (Actually only 5) :

… and I have just activated the “wifi” but it has a status “unknown” :

Is you home zone set correctly?

that would be the first one in the list below it:

That LOOKS like one that is installed with the companion app so I bet thats teh sensor created by your companion app.

And yes the companion app fills in the Lat/Long (Note the device attribute column on the right)

As to how to get it to update properly I make sure:

  1. ensure the companion app has permissions (app location sensors enabled, app has access to location and battery optimization is turned off)
  2. you have access from outside the firewall one way or another (Else it will only update when it can connect) I use Nabu Casa for this part.
  3. ensure the home zone correctly represents ‘home’ (Settings > Areas and Zones > Zones (Tab))

ok … the issue was the zones … and my home was set in the Netherlands somewhere, (my house is in Brussels)
So all good now.

But still trying to have the wifi sensor as well.
I have added it … but how to map the “wifi state = ON” to the home location ?
Or should I use the SSID and make a condition that if SSID is my home wifi name, then it means I am at home ?

Yes, that’s the default start-up location. You should have been asked to set it when you first installed.

Glad you got it sorted!

If the device tracker is working then you shouldn’t need to set the wifi being on to you being home. The device tracker takes care of that.

if you want a backup to that device tracker and you really need the wifi being connected to your home wifi then you should create an automation that uses the device_tracker.see service to set the device tracker to ‘home’ when the mobile app ssid matches your home ssid.

or there are other options to get a device tracker from your phone.

some options are Google Maps, GPSLogger, Traccar, maybe others.

I tried and used them all. They simply don’t work reliable. This is because GPS is required to be on all the time for all users. Even if you only track the wifi connection; due to a security update from Android, the Wifi name is seen as location tracking. besides permission you also have to set GPS location to on in order to get this working. After a couple of weeks Android will evaluate these permisions and the location permissions are probably lost (except for Google them selves of course).

The only thing that seems to work pretty reliable is an integration with your WIFI router where you can see of a device with certain mac addresshas a local connection.

For the time being, I have installed the Companion app (Home assistant) with a user for each of the mobile phones of the family, and it seems to work pretty well …