Vera Proximity New Android Applications

#1

This uses the Android’s Location Services for Geo-Fencing.
Features:

[ul][li]Interactive Google Map or Address based location definition.[/li]
[li]Multiple Locations[/li]
[li]Multiple Fence around a location - Can be interactively specified on the Map.[/li]
[li]Separate Entry and Exit actions
Actions Include

[list]
[li]Alerts:

[list]
[li]Vibration[/li]
[li]Tone[/li]
[li]Text To Speech[/li]
[/list][/li]
[li]SMS Message[/li]
[li]Vera Commands

  • Run a scene
  • Turn On/Off/Toggle a Virtual Switch
  • Turn On/Off/Toggle a Multi-Switch

Supports Multiple Veras with a mixture of UI5, UI6 and Direct (VPN) access.
Option to defer commands until phone is unlocked with a warning tone.[/li]
[li]Rapid Update Action
If you want high precision when you arrive home, create an a fence with a slightly larger radius, and use this command to enter high precision location for the specified interval. This uses more battery power during this interval.[/li]
[/list][/ul]

A plugin to take advantage of the features of this app to facilitate home automation will be coming soon.

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#2

Richard, great to hear.

I’ve downloaded it and tried it but I get a STOP immediately on trying to open it. The background task is apparently running, the icon is in the notification bar. But if I try to open the app itself to configure it, it says it has stopped. The background icon goes away and reappears almost immediately but the app still does not open.

I installed it on an HTC One X+ running Android 4.1.1. Reported to you through Google Play also along with system data

FYI, l also installed it on my Nexus 7 tablet and it mostly works. I say mostly because it does open and allow configuration but occasionally does crash.

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#3

Price? The play store states that it works unlicensed for 30 days. What’ the cost after that?

Will the afore mentioned plug-in be another $5?

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#4

Ok. So questions/comments:

  1. I see that it needs registration. I’m fine with that, but maybe a popup the first time you open the app to let you know would be nice. I’m sure it has a grace period to “try it before you buy it”, but I’m not sure, so I bought you a beer (paid for 1 license) :slight_smile: I did not see this until after my test, so I may try and retest. Some of my other comments may then be moot.

  2. Will it actually work without a registration license for a period of time? My initial test showed it did not work (I set an entry vera action AND tone, neither happened though it showed me outside the fence and then back in it). (I see the post above mine says 30days unlicensed, so never mind)

  3. What is the “smallest” fence you would recommend? I did .02 since that is right around my lot. Understand that when opening the app, it actually had me pinpointed in the exact location on my log (My office). There was very little error in it’s locating me.

  4. When I leave or enter my fence, my phone is in a state of “wifi” confusion as it is trying to figure out if it can connect. Will the app attempt to resend the command X times until it knows it went through? I noticed when I left that I got a popup stating “No data connect”. I think it was from this app. It could have been authomation though as I had it up to check on the multiswitch status

  5. If the icon is not in the status bar, is it working? I found I had to open the app to get it to work. This seems like a bit of a hassle. Once it was up there, it stayed for a period of time. I’m hoping this works like iViri/iPhone locator in that it just runs in the background and I don’t have to actively initiate the app.

I think that is it. I’m anxious to get this working so I can play with geofencing :slight_smile:

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#5

[quote=“Z-Waver, post:3, topic:180988”]Price? The play store states that it works unlicensed for 30 days. What’ the cost after that?

Will the afore mentioned plug-in be another $5?[/quote]

$5.50 per “client”. I assume that means per phone/tablet/etc.

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#6

I agree just so there is no question out the gate for some people.

I would also like to see what people are using, but I think it comes down to how many false readings you get. Your GPS will bounce you around to certain extent because of satellite reception. Everyone will probley be different in this area. If you make it to small and you get false readings that you left then you need to widen it up a bit. Also to fix delays and wifi connection coming on when you get home, you might need to widen it out a bit also.

Also want to know how this app responds to no data connection, but I think that’s all in the setting on how often it reports. Maybe a better understanding from Richard would be goo tho. I also see there is some instant report settings under the fence too.
“No data Connect” is authomation message.

I doesn’t stay in the status bar which is a good thing for me, I don’t like to be cluttered. It does run in the background.

Richard how bad on the battery do you think this is going to be?

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#7

Preface:

It wasn’t working before, but then I added another fence to do the “rapid update”. That one worked, but my original never did. I deleted all the fences, which then caused the app to force close (bug?). When I reopened it a new fence was added and now that one works. I set it to .1 and walked out of my house and it triggered. A new question though:

  1. How long does it take to resolve? I’m guessing that you’re “polling” the location and I see a “reporting interval”. I’m not sure if these two are tied, but I’m curious if it is in fact polling every once in a while, and if so what is the default polling interval. Another question is if “reporting interval” is tied to that polling.

I have it set to .02 and I’ve had a couple of “entering/exit” notifications as my location pops in and out. not your problem, I just need to fine tune it some for my location. I do plan on testing this via voice/notifications before I put it into any use. I know that this is a tight location and I might be expecting too much right now, but testing will let me know. Since I work from home, I don’t use “data” that much as I’m on Wifi so my phone lasts forever on a charge. A little extra GPS use won’t hurt me that much.

I think this was Authomation now. I haven’t left my WiFi range yet, but I’ll test that in a bit. Still interested in knowine what happens if there is no data connection at that point in time. Perhaps there can be a setting for “retry X times” and “retry every Y seconds/minutes”. Or maybe you are checking for network connection and this just is not necessary :wink:

[quote=“SirMeili, post:4, topic:180988”]5) If the icon is not in the status bar, is it working? I found I had to open the app to get it to work. This seems like a bit of a hassle. Once it was up there, it stayed for a period of time. I’m hoping this works like iViri/iPhone locator in that it just runs in the background and I don’t have to actively initiate the app.
I think that is it. I’m anxious to get this working so I can play with geofencing :)[/quote]

It doesn’t seem to be up there all the time. Good. I like that it does pop up there and tell me when I’m entering/exiting fences, but I can’t swipe it away. I think it does go away after a while, so no biggie.

So far, so good. I can’t wait to see what the Vera App adds to this!

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#8

So what do you have your reporting interval set at under main settings? And is that seconds (im asumming) or min?

What do you have your rapid update set at under your fences?

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#9

I am using tasker and the autolocation plugin at the moment, but from what i read in your description and given my experience with all your other plugins i will probably move to your app/plugin combo. Do you think you will at some point integrate the app into tasker ?

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#10

It is blank, so it’s using the “default”. Now that I’ve look in the app, My guess this is for reporting “where” your phone is. Might be interesting for keeping track of kids under the guise of “Home automation”. I could be wrong about this.

I do not know if it is seconds or minutes, but I’m guessing settings. I think, however, this setting is useless until the plugin for Vera is released.

I had it set for .05 (I’m guessing this is “miles”?). Then I set it to do rapid update for 2 minutes. Of course it triggered while I was picking up my Son from my mom’s house (2 streets over), so I didn’t see the full affect. I plan on taking a drive shortly to test this out now that my main fence is working.

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#11
So what do you have your reporting interval set at under main settings? And is that seconds (im asumming) or min?

What do you have your rapid update set at under your fences?


THe reporting interval is hh:mm:ss. It will be used when my plugin is released. In addition to fences it will report some distance information back home/
That rapid update is 60 seconds … but I might make it even faster based on battery strength. So I set it for 5:00 minutes about 1 mile out … I might stop at the post box.
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#12

I’m also using Tasker and AutoLocation, but if you switch over why would still want to use Tasker? What other things does tasker do that I might be missing out on? I currently only use it for geofencing.

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#13

Sorry I think I didn’t quiet understand. The default is 60 secs sounds like.

You might make it faster which would be less then 60 secs right? Then you say you set it for 5:00 minutes which seems much slower.

I lock my doors when I leave but I forget sometimes and have it set up to check and re-lock. I live in a densely populated area and would like this to happen while I’m in some sight of the house or maybe a block over. So a mile or 5 min. for me would be to long.

Few more questions:

Also rapid update time is only the time when the APP checks with Android to see your current location correct?

The app currently only reports or checks in with Vera when the phone has detected it crossed a geofence right? But your saying the reporting interval is going to change that to be able to check in with vera more often rather then only when a geofence has been crossed?

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#14

@integlikewhoa
I am using tasker for quite a few things, i am automating my phone more and more. Vera integration is just a part of it. I use the geofence not only to switch the house to ‘home’, but also turn the screen lock off when i am at home, and back on when i leave. I turn sound volumes and ringtones down when i am at work, and back up when i leave. Also i use NFC tiles to put the phone into car mode, which reads text messages to me, announces callers, turns on bluetooth, turns the screen lock off… and i keep finding more things i can do… i am starting to experiment with ibeacons now… they are also integrated into tasker.
So lots of reasons for me to want tasker integration. I can work around it if it didnt work, but it would be easier if it was integrated. I also find that the Vera alerts feedback sent to my phone is not always that reliable (thats another mystery i will try to solve at some point), so i rather do it all via tasker and autolocation - hence the wish for integration into tasker

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#15

[quote=“mikee123, post:14, topic:180988”]@integlikewhoa
I am using tasker for quite a few things, i am automating my phone more and more. Vera integration is just a part of it. I use the geofence not only to switch the house to ‘home’, but also turn the screen lock off when i am at home, and back on when i leave. I turn sound volumes and ringtones down when i am at work, and back up when i leave. Also i use NFC tiles to put the phone into car mode, which reads text messages to me, announces callers, turns on bluetooth, turns the screen lock off… and i keep finding more things i can do… i am starting to experiment with ibeacons now… they are also integrated into tasker.
So lots of reasons for me to want tasker integration. I can work around it if it didnt work, but it would be easier if it was integrated. I also find that the Vera alerts feedback sent to my phone is not always that reliable (thats another mystery i will try to solve at some point), so i rather do it all via tasker and autolocation - hence the wish for integration into tasker[/quote]

Thanks for the info, I knew it had alot of uses, just never looked into them really.

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#16

Sorry I think I didn’t quiet understand. The default is 60 secs sounds like.

You might make it faster which would be less then 60 secs right? Then you say you set it for 5:00 minutes which seems much slower.

I lock my doors when I leave but I forget sometimes and have it set up to check and re-lock. I live in a densely populated area and would like this to happen while I’m in some sight of the house or maybe a block over. So a mile or 5 min. for me would be to long.

Few more questions:

Also rapid update time is only the time when the APP checks with Android to see your current location correct?

The app currently only reports or checks in with Vera when the phone has detected it crossed a geofence right? But your saying the reporting interval is going to change that to be able to check in with vera more often rather then only when a geofence has been crossed?[/quote]

I think the “rapid update” time is 60 seconds instead of a faster time. I’m unclear what the normal polling rate is.

So, for instance, in tonight’s test, I set up a “rapid update” fence that is .05 miles from my house. I checked the “rapid update” box and set the length of time for the rapid update to be “5:00” (do the rapid update for 5 minutes). Then I have a smaller “fence” in that fence that is my actual house. The rapid update means it will poll more often so that within a minute or so of being inside my “house” fence, it will trigger as entering it. I do know that without the “rapid update” it does take longer to trigger that I’m home (I did this by just walking out side of my Home fence), but I don’t know that timing yet.

It literally told me I was in my “house” fence as I pulled into the area (monitored via Google Maps). However, even if it takes a minute, once pulling in the drive it takes me about a minute to get out of the car and get close, so I think I’m good.

Other uses:

  1. When I am within a mile of home and it’s night, turn on the front outside lights. This may trigger if it’s night and I drive by, but you can have a PLEG to turn them off (or in my case, reset the SmartSwitch) when you exit the fence again.

  2. When you are within 1 mile of your house, use the Sonos plugin to announce you, your spouse or kids are on your way home (could be based on time of day as well).

  3. When both you and your spouse (and any kids) are out of the house, make sure all the lights/appliances/Electronics are off. If you are gone for over 12 hours, put your house in Away/Vacation mode (maybe utilizing the “vacation ghost” plugin).

Something I am cautious about:

  1. Unlocking your door because you are close to your house. I don’t like this feature and I realize that some people do this or open their garages. I’m just too much of a security freak to do that. Now, this app has the feature to require you to “unlock” your phone to do a specific action, so I would consider doing the previous if I had to unlock my phone before the commands were sent to the Vera.

P.S. I got most of those examples from reading the threads about iPhone locator and iViri. I don’t use apple products, so I was just waiting for an Android version that didn’t require tasker (I use it, I just didn’t want to use it for this).

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#17

[quote=“SirMeili, post:16, topic:180988”]I think the “rapid update” time is 60 seconds instead of a faster time. I’m unclear what the normal polling rate is.

So, for instance, in tonight’s test, I set up a “rapid update” fence that is .05 miles from my house. I checked the “rapid update” box and set the length of time for the rapid update to be “5:00” (do the rapid update for 5 minutes). Then I have a smaller “fence” in that fence that is my actual house. The rapid update means it will poll more often so that within a minute or so of being inside my “house” fence, it will trigger as entering it. I do know that without the “rapid update” it does take longer to trigger that I’m home (I did this by just walking out side of my Home fence), but I don’t know that timing yet.

It literally told me I was in my “house” fence as I pulled into the area (monitored via Google Maps). However, even if it takes a minute, once pulling in the drive it takes me about a minute to get out of the car and get close, so I think I’m good.

Other uses:

  1. When I am within a mile of home and it’s night, turn on the front outside lights. This may trigger if it’s night and I drive by, but you can have a PLEG to turn them off (or in my case, reset the SmartSwitch) when you exit the fence again.

  2. When you are within 1 mile of your house, use the Sonos plugin to announce you, your spouse or kids are on your way home (could be based on time of day as well).

  3. When both you and your spouse (and any kids) are out of the house, make sure all the lights/appliances/Electronics are off. If you are gone for over 12 hours, put your house in Away/Vacation mode (maybe utilizing the “vacation ghost” plugin).

Something I am cautious about:

  1. Unlocking your door because you are close to your house. I don’t like this feature and I realize that some people do this or open their garages. I’m just too much of a security freak to do that. Now, this app has the feature to require you to “unlock” your phone to do a specific action, so I would consider doing the previous if I had to unlock my phone before the commands were sent to the Vera.

P.S. I got most of those examples from reading the threads about iPhone locator and iViri. I don’t use apple products, so I was just waiting for an Android version that didn’t require tasker (I use it, I just didn’t want to use it for this).[/quote]

Yea none of this is new. I been using Tasker for awhile now and more recently have gotten my router setup to watch for me and alert vera by MAC address. My lights come one and stuff not when I’m a mile away but when I pull up. Router has been much more accurate then tasker ever was. I think its because when I get home or leave I’m dropping or picking up wifi and phone is in between so it always has delays or is in consistent. I want mine to happen at a reliably in the same 100 yard gap. With tasker some times I get home a light is on before I turn the block and sometimes light is on when I’m getting out of the car. I have 4 routers around the house already running DDWRT so I now got those setup to watch for when each of our phones connect by MAC address. I get that connection reliable only problem I have now is the disconnect. The Atheros routers I have don’t disconnect fast. Router still shows me as a client for sometimes 5 min. after I have turned wifi or disconnected on my phone. I don’t have this problem with the broadcom routers, but haven’t wanted to switch all over. Right now I’m using both systems one to switch on one to switch off. And I could never get rid of Geofence if I wanted to do something away from the house (or my router). So I continue to use each of the strong points.

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,24084.0.html

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#18

My examples were just examples I thought up really quick :). I likely would not turn on the lights 1 mile out, but you could. Like I said, it picked me up right as I hit my drive (the end of my “Fence”). That could have been a total coincidence, but it worked. I like your idea using the routers, but I unfortunately do not have a DDWRT compatible router at the moment due to business needs. I’m sure I could have do it with a DDWRT router, but at the time, it was easier to buy something that just did what I needed out of the box. This was before any HA concerns/needs of mine. I’m interested how you handle it as you bounce from router to router, but that is a discussion for another thread (perhaps the one you linked to).

I’m definitely interested in seeing what the Vera companion app adds to this Android app. I can’t think of anything really “cool”, so that means it’s likely going to be super cool when I find out!

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#19

[quote=“mikee123, post:14, topic:180988”]@integlikewhoa
I am using tasker for quite a few things, i am automating my phone more and more. Vera integration is just a part of it. I use the geofence not only to switch the house to ‘home’, but also turn the screen lock off when i am at home, and back on when i leave. I turn sound volumes and ringtones down when i am at work, and back up when i leave. Also i use NFC tiles to put the phone into car mode, which reads text messages to me, announces callers, turns on bluetooth, turns the screen lock off… and i keep finding more things i can do… i am starting to experiment with ibeacons now… they are also integrated into tasker.
So lots of reasons for me to want tasker integration. I can work around it if it didnt work, but it would be easier if it was integrated. I also find that the Vera alerts feedback sent to my phone is not always that reliable (thats another mystery i will try to solve at some point), so i rather do it all via tasker and autolocation - hence the wish for integration into tasker[/quote]

BIG +1 on tasker!

I’d like to hear more detail on the router disconnect setup. I run 3 routers in my WiFi. 1 is a DDWRT, other 2 are Asus RT-AC66R’s

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#20

I will add a tasker interface.
What do you expect from this ?
Do you want to use this as a GeoFence front end for Tasker … i.e. to cause tasker to run some commands as you exit/enter a perimeter fence ?
Do you want to allow Tasker to send commands to Vera, i.e. as a gateway that knows how to connect through UI5 and UI6 gateways ?

There are solutions to the above two use cases already. I did this for people that did not to have to deal with gluing multiple apps together to solve a problem.

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