iPhone Locator or VeraMate Geofencing

These products look to be two different ways to accomplish the same thing best I can tell. I first installed the add-on iPhone Locator and finding it less than ready for prime time. Which of the two approaches are folks using to set up a simple geofence around their home so that the Vera can know when family members are within a programmable distance from home. This should be a most requested feature IMHO.

You’re correct. The objectives are the same but they use reverse concepts apps that utilise geo-fence push the request to you’re Vera, where by iPhone locator polls the iPhone location via the find my iPhone portal to pull your locations.

If you are using iPhone locator, you need to consider, distance, speed and the time it take to pull your location and there design dynamic polling interval based on those variable. I.e 100kph it takes 36 secs to travel 1 km.

The worse thing with geo-fencing is still accuracy unless it is running constantly and can often lead to false negatives wrt your resale physically location. That is the current implementation.

Also with Apple both have affects on battery life and you’ll need to monitor this. Hence iPhone locator work quite well if you use dynamic polling as can geo-fencing if only limited use.

I also installed iPhone Locator plug in today and am just starting to set it up but then also noticed the VeraMate Geofencing. Since the original post is almost 6 months old now I thought I was ask if anyone else has any input on this? I also notice that some automation systems can run scenes based on once your phone connects to your wifi network which obviously would mean you are home. My phone will connect to my wifi network once I enter my driveway. Does this capabillty exist on with Vera and UI7 at all?

Any tips would be appreciated…

I found that in order for the iPhone locator to be as accurate as I wanted, I had to have the polling time so high that it drained the battery way to quickly. Geofencing with Vera Mate is better on battery life, but at the same time there is still a relatively noticeable difference than noting using the app for geofencing. I have found geofencing to be pretty accurate, but it only works 90ish percent of the time. I don’t know what causes that and I don’t know if it is an issue with my phone, local cell towers, the app or what. The other thing to consider with geofencing is how your cell carrier works. For example, with Verizon, if you cross a geofence boundary while you are on the phone, the command cannot be sent from your phone to your Vera because with Verizon (and other CDMA carries such as Sprint), you cannot be on the phone and use data at the same time. This is not an issue with AT&T (and other GSM carriers). Because of the 90% functionality and because I have Verizon, I also use a ping sensor in my home network as a back up to geofencing. You can read more about my setup here: http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,33060.0.html

Thanks for the detailed info. When you say you had to have the polling “so high that it drained the battery way to quickly” who high do you mean? The default is 60 seconds as I recall. If I put it to 30 seconds which is half I am wondering if it would make a really big difference in battery life or not?

I had just heard about the ping sensor that you mentioned also, and will consider that as well depending on how this iphone locator plugin works out for me.

Thanks again!

Honestly, I don’t remember the details of how I had the iPhone locator set up. I just remember that two days into it, my wife said “hell no” because of how much it was draining her battery. I want to say that was with the default settings, but I just don’t remember. I know I played around with it some but it was never approved by the wife. She loves Vera Mate (versus the stock Vera app). I have an Android and I use Vera Proximity for that.