Low latency presence detection

Just wanted to understand what options there are to trigger automations that are time sensative. I’ve tried a couple of things in the past (such as unifi device tracking / ifttt geofences) and they really didn’t operate in the way in which I expected. I was looking for something to quickly (<3seconds) create an event within 50m of a location.

This might be what you’re looking for;

The only reliable way I have found to do this is via the Locative iOS app using geofences. It doesn’t give position but I am finding it > 99% reliable for reporting home/not_home in a timely manner which is of course very important for some types of automation. The official iOS app, even with beacons has not been as reliable as Locative for me.

I am in the process of trying to combine Locative with the iOS app so I can have position reporting as well but its a work in progress.

For me, the router source (unifi) has been excellent from an accuracy perspective, but it can take some time to detect your admission to the network.

I have used the geolocations before, but due to my limited ability to create a large zoned area (I live near a main road I need to traverse frequently) The time its taken to detect my presence is once again too long.

I actually had an iBeacon as I believed it would be the best option to try considering my previous experiences with ios location services, but I’ve been unable to get it operational. I’ve re-done all my home zone to include a beacon stanza (over-ridden the default), but no matter what I do I still get my device location reported as gps (expecting away/beacon) even with track_ios set to false, tried the zone set to passive and location services on the device disabled! (hass/app restarted after doing so). Any more tips on augmenting a router source with an iBeacon? For those wondering, all the external hass access is up and fine with lets enc certs, ios app working fine otherwise (getting notifications from custom automations).


  • name: Home
    uuid: !secret uuid
    major: !secret major
    minor: !secret minor
    latitude: !secret latt
    longitude: !secret long
    radius: 100


Can you explain more how to set this up with HA ?
Work ibeacon out of the box with an iphone? how does this work.


I needed a zero latency presence detection when I first installed HA couple year ago so I installed this RF transmitter in our cars. It is hooked up to the car power outlet so it transmits all the time when the car is on. When we start the car or are within 500ft on arrival, the RF receiver tells the pi and HA of our presence. It is 100% reliable and instantaneous.

It is supported by the iOS app itself - you as the beacons id tho your config, is described in the iOS docs

What is the iTunes wakeup method ?

@RobDYI, This looks like exactly what I need, can you tell us more? A picture or 2 would be great.

Is this configured using the RF Link component?

I used a GPIO pin and a ground on the PI connected to the RF Receiver. In HA, I simply use the GPIO sensor.

  - platform: rpi_gpio
      17: John_Arrival
      22: Jane_Arrival
    pull_mode: "DOWN"

WOW, that’s so simple. thanks for the explanation

Its 100% reliable and doesn’t use any network. I use it to open a car gates / turn on lights which need to work all the time. Although I think you need to buy in a pair, you only need one receiver attache to the pi for 5 transmitters. I wired it to the back of a wall wart.

Can it also provide location information (something like Automatic) may be with some modification?

All it tells you is that the transmitter is within 1km of the receiver. I should mention that 1km is line of sight with 1 house wall and car walls in between. If you are in an apartment building or the receiver is poorly located, distance will vary.

I have been messing around with geofences, tasker & autolocation way longer than I care to mention. I love it when the lights turn on after I’ve been in the house for 5 minutes, lol

For the last several days I’ve been reading about BLE Beacons but think the delay would be similar to what I’m experiencing now, so I’m ready for a new direction.

I have several USB ports in the car to plug into. Is the wire in your picture an antennae?
I didn’t know the rpi_gpio platform even existed until I saw your explanation. Thanks again

You are suppose to uncurl the antennae on the transmitter in the picture. I have my pi in my basement located near where all the phone wires end up. I used a unused phone wall outlet to put my receiver in. I then transmitted the power and other wires from the pi to my front 2nd floor room for the receiver. The car gate is fully open by the time I pull up to the house in a medium density suburban neighborhood. You need to put a little programming into your automations because the binary sensor will flicker at first which might cause problems.

The latest version that is currently in beta testing is MUCH better about beacons. I’ve gotten reports that detection time is less than 60 seconds of entering a beacon area now.


How about WiFi/MQTT car presence sensor for garage door automation.
Working beautifully for me for over 3 months.

I gotta ask when do you expect a release?

Beta testing is already well underway in #devs_ios on Discord, PM me your first/last name and email address here to join the beta.