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  • Geolocation (Android + iOS)

    When I was trialing HS3 on Windows I got HSBuddy working flawlessly to do Geolocation on both iOS and Android. I setup a couple locations with a radius of about half a mile and when the phones would enter or leave them they'd quickly be noticed by HSBuddy and I could write events around them. It worked really well.

    I purchased the HS Zee S2 and the HSBuddy seems broken on it for Geolocation. I installed the prereqs on Pi but when I try to enable Geolocation in the app I get an error in the HSBuddy app "unable to initialize geolocation". Nothing is logged at all in the logs. The forum post for HSBuddy support seems abandoned so it's unlikely to get reliable and fast support.

    Since HSBuddy on Pi doesn't work, I'd like another geolocation service. Basically I need something that works on iOS and Android and will allow me to setup places with a radius. I'd like to write events so if a phone enters or leaves a radius, something happens. I'd also like to write events so that if either phone is at a location, or no phones are at a location other events happen. For examples, if no phones are at the location "home" set the thermostat to save energy. It's imperative that this happens quickly and reliably, for example I'll have an event that turns on lights when a phone enters an area and I don't want the lights to turn on ten minutes after I'm at home when the phone finally decides to report its location.

    So, what are you guys using for geolocation? If I can't get something reliable working I plan on returning my HS hardware and going with another vendor.

  • #2
    I switched from HS buddy to using the PHLocation2 plugin on HS3 and EgiGeoZone on my Android devices. PHLocation2 also supports Apple however, I've never paid attention to those details.
    HS3 SEL running Pro Edition 3.0.0.531 on Ubuntu 18.04, mono 5.20, 656 devices, 209 events.
    Plug-Ins: Chromecast, Device History, EasyTrigger, Ecobee, JowiHue, LutronCaseta, MeiUnifi, PHLocation2, Pushover 3P, SDJ-Health, Sonos, WeatherFlow, weatherXML
    Scripts: SparkMan's Lock Event, 5 of Jon00 scripts.

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    • #3
      You can go with another vendor. Same story. I have all of the "other" systems and they are all the same general solution. There is the Life360 plugin and PHLocation2 supports Life360 and it's free! Otherwise you will have to cobble together something with one of the numerous phone apps and hope they continue providing support. The best one for Android egiGeoFence gave up the ghost because of the constant changes Google makes to Android Location servers.... that is a loss Today I would say PHLocation2 is the best geofence plugin available for HS3.

      You won't find anything that is always fast and always reliable that is phone based.... but good luck. I built a system and provided it to everyone at a decent cost and only a couple people were interested...it wasn't free so there was no interest. It cost too much to keep running so I had to shut it down. Too bad...... now I've built my own private system and use PHLocation2 as the interface with HS3. I have plans to build my own interface to my other system to remove that dependency.

      Funny... half a mile... that's funny...

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      • #4
        PHlocation2 may work, but I don't want that to be a battery drain and early testing is showing me it's not "instant". I also didn't want to forward ports to my unit and use the cloud tools like Homeseer remote.

        I don't think what I'm asking for is ridiculous. Nest and Philips have location awareness built into their apps for Android and iOS and it works well. I wanted a single solution instead of multiple solutions, but Geolocation is a must and it looks like HS3 simply doesn't work without jumping through a lot of complicated hoops.

        I think I'll have to return the system and go with something else like Samsung where this seems to work a bit more user friendly. It's really a shame HS3 is just getting started on mobile. Their mobile app looks promising, but 1.0 should have had location awareness built into it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bryankm282 View Post
          PHlocation2 may work, but I don't want that to be a battery drain and early testing is showing me it's not "instant". I also didn't want to forward ports to my unit and use the cloud tools like Homeseer remote.
          Battery life and an instant update will never happen together. Instant update means the phone has to be constantly reading the GPS looking for the current location to enter a defined area and then send the update to HS3. What happens to your battery if you leave your map program running?

          EgiGeoZone does have the ability to control how often it updates. I have mine update every two minutes and that is not too bad on battery life on my Note 9.

          If you have already enabled HUE gelocation then it is running the GPS and checking location, probably came up and asked you authorize it to ignore battery saving and power optimizations.



          HS3 SEL running Pro Edition 3.0.0.531 on Ubuntu 18.04, mono 5.20, 656 devices, 209 events.
          Plug-Ins: Chromecast, Device History, EasyTrigger, Ecobee, JowiHue, LutronCaseta, MeiUnifi, PHLocation2, Pushover 3P, SDJ-Health, Sonos, WeatherFlow, weatherXML
          Scripts: SparkMan's Lock Event, 5 of Jon00 scripts.

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          • #6
            I use Traccar client reporting to a Traccar server that I self host. The issues you often see around laggy geolocation responses are typically not a product of the app. But of the lacklustre geofencing API being provided by Google etc. It's important to understand the geofence calculation doesn't happen on your phone, it typically happens on a cloud server that pushes the fence state change event to your phone. Like most things cloud, it low key sucks.
            How do you solve it? The same way you solve other crappy cloud performance issues. You ditch the cloud and do it yourself, in this case by self hosting Traccar.

            My Traccar (phone) client turns on and starts reporting as soon as my phone disconnects from either my home wifi or work wifi. When it reconnects to either of these wifi networks, Traccar client reporting stops. This saves huge amount of battery because if I'm not home or at work, which is a slim percentage of my time , the client is doing nothing.
            The on/off trigger is handled by Tasker.
            Because of what Traccar is, I also have an OBD device in my car that also reports position data.

            When I leave or arrive home, I get a pushover notification on my phone that home security has been enabled/disabled. If it's after sunset, lights also turn on or off. I've been using this for 6 months at least, I don't think it's failed or lagged on me once except in situations that were my own fault (mucking with router configs etc)

            Edit: To clarify, Traccar server performs the geofence calculation based on raw position data it receives from each of the clients. On a fence change, it sends an update to PHlocation2 plugin in the form of a JSON http post. PHlocation2 then translates this to HomeSeer events.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Fellhahn View Post
              Edit: To clarify, Traccar server performs the geofence calculation based on raw position data it receives from each of the clients. On a fence change, it sends an update to PHlocation2 plugin in the form of a JSON http post. PHlocation2 then translates this to HomeSeer events.
              Could you share the http post stuff please. Just got traccar running fully this morning.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by keithj69 View Post

                Could you share the http post stuff please. Just got traccar running fully this morning.
                Just read this, it's late at night here and I'm on my phone, I'll endeavour to get it to you tomorrow.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for your help.

                  I guess I didn't do a good job of explaining myself. With HSBuddy and other apps (Nest, Philips Hue) you can set a home location and the app will report when it enters or leaves that location. It's not exact, probably about a 500m radius. Battery use on the phone is pretty light since phones have APIs that report to apps when a significant location change happened typically the phone using another cellular tower. I was looking for an app that would use these existing, battery-light features to tag itself as in a home area or outside of a home area.

                  It looks like Simplex's Life360 plugin and that application will work. I've been testing it on Android and it's been spot on. I haven't tested iOS yet but plan to start this weekend. The only downside to that is if you want multiple users you give up a lot of privacy since you put what users you wish HS to track in a circle. When two or more users are in a circle, you can see their location at all times.

                  For my partner who has iOS, I don't care about seeing her location at all times. I don't know if I want her to see my location at all times. Neither of us should be able to access each other's location history but that's exactly what Life360 allows. Ideally we'd just be able to see if we're in the home radius or not and that's it.

                  So, it works. It works great. However I'm still looking because I would prefer to maintain far more privacy than Life360 allows.

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                  • #10
                    You mention IOS then you may want to look at PHLocation2 plugin and use the iCloud or Geofency app.... for what you're wanting on Android the older egiGeoFence app does exactly that but is no longer being maintained (to my knowledge) the author sometimes posts here though...

                    There are also other apps that PHL2 supports that may be more suited for what you're looking for.

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                    • #11
                      Autolocation for Tasker is another great way to do that. I used both and they do a great job. Tasker also use Geofencing with different algorithms.

                      Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

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                      • #12
                        I wanted to the same. My wife has an android and I just switched back to iOS. I've got Life360 running and I don't have any complaints! Very easy to use and the plugin was super helpful.

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