Room presense sensor - new device suggestion

There is no out of the box solution in the industry except for semi-reliable Bluetooth tracking like ( however they require a lot of setup and it’s kind of an overkill for a basic sensor (You got to setup Pi device, buy sensors if you don’t want to use Bluetooth, put the PIs on your network etc). Plus what if you are not bringing your phone into every room or not everyone in your home has an apple watch?

Since zwave can be low powered, something that installs above your door or in the door frame to track people entering/leaving a room is more simple and should be just as effective. This would open a whole new level of automation like turning off lights in other places, keeping lights on if there are people present in the room etc.

Essentially it needs to be a basic sensor that can track in and out movement something similar to this but without wires: Occupancy Detection

Or maybe all of this can be added to the multi-sensor you guys already have.

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Have you checked out Home – ESPresense – ESP32 based indoor positioning system
Runs on smaller and significantly cheaper ESP32’s.

ESPresense requires an app running all of the time.

I prefer


Yeah except I have to be a linux hax0r to set all this up and put it together. It would be nice if a simple bluetooth scanner was built into the 4in1 room sensor and it just sends notifications over zwave to your base station (ex Home Assistant) just like it does motion updates. Basically my suggestion is to include the hardware in 4in1 sensor that uses zwave instead of wifi and then we can use things like in conjunction with it.

I haven’t dived into either (yet), but my understanding is that on Android devices, the home assistant app is a compatible beacon with ESPresense. And that runs in the background at all times anyways… iPhone requires an additional app. What I’m curious about is that these apps are required with ESPresense because modern phones randomize their bluetooth mac addresses. So how is room-assistant working around this without the use of an app as well? It claims to use bluetooth classic which checks the signal strength of the response to “configured addresses”, but if those addresses are constantly randomized, I would assume it also needs an app?

Then there’s the cost factor. I’ve got 20 rooms in the house. A single rPi is roughly $130 while an ESP32 is around $5.

@skynet I get what you’re saying, but I doubt a motion sensor would be the right spot to put something like that. And I can picture it having a lot of chatter which isn’t usually great for zwave networks but more suited for zigbee. Check out the new Aqara Human Presence Sensor FP1, it may be exactly what you’re looking for. But be warned, they’re pricey!

I have Monitor App setup with Raspberry PiW which is $10-15 a piece. But they use Wifi to connect and you need to know what you are doing to set them up. Bluetooth address is not randomized as then your headphones etc wouldn’t be able to find your phone when you turn them on.

You are thinking about Wifi Mac addresses which you do have an option to be random on apple devices. There wouldn’t be that much chatter actually as you can set it up to be if motion detected then start a bt scan, only if something is found only then send a notification over zwave. Or you can set it up that it only does a certain scan when a notification is sent (Ex: door is open or automation is triggered).

Tracking Randomized MAC Devices – ESPresense – ESP32 based indoor positioning system

Why an App?

Both Android and iPhone use a strategy of Bluetooth MAC address randomization for privacy. While this may not be a perfect solution, it means that the publicly-available bluetooth MAC address of your phone won’t be consistent to devices with which it has not been paired. As we’re using Bluetooth Low Energy to scan, we don’t want to pair the device. Thus, the need for an app to allow us to track, except for the 2 options below.

This is what I’m referring to when I wonder how room assistant handles it differently and not need an app.

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? Pi Zero W’s were $8 when I bought my house worth, and ESP32’s for $5 require a month wait from China (if ever).

Mine also do BLE and bluetooth classic (for older tech/watches, etc.).

You do need an app for iOS devices: Bluetooth Low Energy | room-assistant. We don’t have any so I might have been misleading in my prior comments.

Now, all of that said, if we could get something that was “pretty” and worked to transfer information via zigbee or z-wave instead of wifi and could be optionally battery or USB powered, that would be awesome, I completely agree.

The project you linked is interesting but it’s not simple. It requires devices on both sides of the door. 2 means means depth is required if it’s to be surface mounted. Constant monitoring by keeping the LEDs powered means battery power wouldn’t work. There are likely ways around that though.

I do have my doubts about it working well. The 2 x LEDs as I see in the pictures will not transmit 2 distinct beams across the door frame. The light from each LED spreads enough to hit both sensors. That’ll probably make it hard to detect much difference between the 2 sensors being triggered.

Also, it’s difficult lies in maintaining the proper count in the room.

Hmm, this must be a mistake. I never seen BT address randomized on any of my android devices or iPhones. Randomizing wifi address yes… but not BT.

Regardless this was a topic for Inovelli to come up with a monitor sensor so that we don’t have to build one from scratch. Maybe they can build it into 4in1 sensor, or a light switch or a stand alone device. I just dont want to buy RPiW or ESP32, spend time flashing it, connecting it to the network, running linux commands etc just to get some reliable monitoring setup for my house.

Unfortunately, I think even the existing 4 in 1 sensor is, or will be, abandoned due to Inovelli refocusing on lighting products. I doubt a brand new presence detector gets considered.

It was a white label product anyhow. Who knows though, maybe we’ll see a 5n1 sensor.