Room/Area occupancy detection.

  • I use an ISY994 and various sensors to detect occupancy in my home and, among other things, turn off lights when they have been left on. I have been trying to use iBeacons to detect where in the home people are and prevent lights from turning off if someone is in a room where a light is on. The iBeacons have proven to be nearly useless as the range is very erratic and it is nearly impossible to accurately locate someone within the house. I plan on using a series of dots instead of iBeacons to accurately locate people and manage the automation accordingly.


  • administrators

    @Xathros We actually have a demo of that specific use case built out using LIFX bulbs and Dot's proximity detection through RSSI. We're working on a way to further fine-tune proximity by using Rx and Tx Power characteristics.

  • @rishabh_iota What would be really cool is if you could do triangulation based on proximity to 3 or more dots and get pinpoint accuracy! What I found with iBeacons is that the phone is affected by orientation, proximity to rf absorbing items (humans) and other environmental factors making the iBeacon signal strength a useless metric for meaningful proximity detection. Now, if Dot and the phone can communicate and the dots can communicate amongst themselves, we could do some really neat stuff and obtain accurate location info even when there isn't a dot in every room.

  • administrators

    @Xathros We plan to work on triangulation once other core components of our app are fleshed out. Triangulation can get rather tricky due to the relationship between signal strength, battery power, antenna position, and dense materials in the room. It's going to be tough to develop a precise triangulation algorithm, but we're committed to doing this down the line.

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    For the time being (and most likely for launch) we're going to develop a probabilistic model and offer calibration controls for proximity detection.

    Our eventual goal is to develop this detection well enough such that a beacon in every room isn't necessary for precise location tracking just as you're describing.

  • @rishabh_iota Nice! Thanks for the links. That was an interesting experiment. What I'm envisioning is this:

    Install 3 or more Dots in fixed permanent locations within the home, preferably evenly spaces around the perimeter of the home and on different levels. Then have a learning mode in the app that allows you to define a room and walk the perimeter of the room several times so that the app cal learn the boundaries while watching the dots. Do this for each room/area to allow the app to build a logical map of the space(s). What he was doing was looking for an exact position within a room. I'm only interested in knowing what area i'm in with a high level of certainty. His experiment clearly shows the issues that I encountered with using iBeacons for this purpose.

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