Occupancy and Presence

One of my projects within my smart home is to be able to monitor home occupancy as well as specific room presence. While the two are similar they end up being very different things. Occupancy is pretty basic. For the house itself I currently have three modes. Home, Out and Away. Away means we are on vacation or won’t be back for some time. Occupancy can be triggered by presence in the house, geofencing on our phones, pir sensors in and around the house and network mac addresses detected.

Presence detection is a bit more involved. I am currently using pir sensors as well as activity on certain devices. For instance, if Eventghost detects keyboard use on my PC in the master bedroom it’s a 75% that the Master Bedroom is occupied. I say 75% because I access it remotely on occasion. That’s where the pir in my bedroom comes in, as well as a relatively inexpensive iBeacon I recently purchased to start playing around with. There are IOS and Android applications for detecting iBeacons so with my phone, if it’s in range of the iBeacon, Tasker will send a message to Homeseer that I’m in the bedroom. So if the PIR detects activity in the bedroom AND my PC is in use someone is in the bedroom. If both of the above are true AND my phone has sent a message to Homeseer then it’s a 99% probability that I am there. I also have an Automatic in my car and use it with IFTTT so plan on adding that in the mix as well, increasing that probability.

The reason I have been starting to dabble with occupancy and presence is because I have been slowly adding a couple of different profiles in my home automation. If nobody is home (i.e. we are on vacation) I want certain things to happen. Lights randomly coming on, the temp set a little bit higher, TVs and stereos off, etc. If we are at home then I want a different set of events going on. Lights on at night when there is motion, etc.

This is really an ongoing process but it’s slowly but surely getting done.

Earlier this evening I cam across Dream Green House. There are a lot of really good ideas there for anyone interested in Home Automation, some of which I have been using for years and some of which allow me to clarify a few of the projects I am wanting to work on.

Speaking of projects, here is a current list of things I am in varying stages of:

Replace the LCD and Digitizer on my Nexus 6 that I use on Project Fi. My screen cracked recently and then there was a cat “accident” lol while I was replacing the LCD and the digitizer was ruined. I have a new one arriving Tuesday.

Finish Projector Screen Frame (provided tommorow is not a very long day at work it’ll be finished before tomorrow evening)
Mount Echo on ceiling (I picked up a custom ceiling/wall mount on Etsy a while back and it’s just waiting for me to hang it. While the Amazon Echo has pretty awesome mics mounting it from the ceiling will allow it to pick up even better. I already have all the tools and hardware, just need to get it done)
Set up events to switch basement speakers. Currently I have a two-zone receiver in my basement hooked up to speakers in the basement as well as my back porch. I also have a Global Cache IP2IR down there to control it. Just need to set up a couple of HomeSeer events that will allow me to change zones if someone wants to, for instance, play music through the Chromecast (hooked to one of the inputs on the receiver) through the back porch speakers. I have everything I need for this, just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
Finish occupancy for all phones – mqtt, owntracks, etc. This is more time consuming and intensive because it means multiple events, virtual devices, etc. I will be completing it one person at a time so this one will take some time.
Setup Mystic on RPi 2 or 3 move to basement. Currently the Bulletin Board System I am using is Synchronet. I have it running on a Windows laptop stuck inside a TV cabinet in my bedroom. It’s slowly dying. I plan on using a Raspberry Pi 3 and put it in my basement. I currently have everything I need for that (except time).
Setup (may need new one) Emulator on rpi. I picked up a bunch of different parts for this over a period of time and plan on scrapping the inside of an old OG Xbox and mounting everything in there. I was going to use my RPI 2 for that but ended up using it for an instance of Alexa so the only thing I’m lacking is picking up yet another RPi.
Magic mirror for bathroom. Another soon to happen project that I have most of the parts for. I was originally going to use a Nexus 7 for this (and still may). I have everything I need for this although lately I’ve been toying with the idea of using yet another RPi and the LCD from the laptop that my BBS is currently using.
Fix living room lighting. When they built my house the electricians did a SHIT job. The wires are not obviously standard or marked, making it difficult to find the neutral or traveler. I installed a Zwave threeway in my living room and while I can control the overheads from the MAIN switch (or remotely), the remote switch doesn’t work and I have no idea why. I had to step away from this for a while because I was getting so frustrated. I picked up a wiring book/tutorial thing a while back and I’m going to read it a couple of times prior to tackling this again).
install other z-wave switches. I have three or four Z-wave wall switches that I haven’t installed, including another threeway for the stairs off the foyer. Need to get these mounted.
set up temp controller, redo wiring around house. Several years ago I used a 1-wire network of Dallas/Maxim temp and humidity sensors in every room in my house. The controller (a Midon Design Temp05) died on me about eight years ago and I never replaced it. Most (but not all) of my wiring and sensors are still in place and I picked up a used Temp08 a couple months ago. Going to hook that back up.
Look into hooking up cell phone to Homeseer. I want to be able to use HS to send/receive text messages and phone calls on a GSM phone. Currently I am using email to SMS but if for some reason my Internet connection is down that’s useless. It also is slow at times.
Look into setting up cell phone for BBS. I want to hook up a GSM phone to allow connections to the BBS as well. Currently it’s Telnet or HTML but it would be nice (and nostalgic) to allow dial-up connections again.

Fix my daughter’s RPi Amazon Alexa. I set up Alexa on a Raspberry Pi 2 a few months ago but was not very happy with the end result. Need to redo the entire setup. While this is at the bottom of this specific list it’s actually much higher on my todo list.

Fix Apple Homekit integration. I currently have a homekit bridge running on my HA server but for some reason it’s not working right. I am not all that knowledgable about anything to do with iPhones or iPads so this is a bit of a learning curve. In addition to wanting my oldest daughter to be able to control the lights using Siri, we have an old iPad first generation that I have loaded a touch screen interface on and need to mount in the kitchen. My current plan is to jailbreak it and add Siri to this as well.

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