Advice on geofencing options
  • Just switching from Blue Iris (running on virtual pc is too resource hungry and complex) and happy so far with SecuritySpy.

    The one feature I miss is the "stop light" to enable/disable all cameras for motion detection by using the geofence in the iOS app. I have Geofences defined for "when I leave home" and "when I arrive home". This is very convenient to automate the daily process of enabling/disabling cameras depending upon whether I am home or away.

    SecuritySpy has the ability to enable/disable cameras (in SS the terminology is "active" or "passive"), but there isn't any geofencing support that I am aware of.

    I'm looking for suggestions - are there any plans for SecuritySpy to add geofencing directly and/or what approaches have others taken to workaround this?

    The idea I have is to use IFTTT. The IF iOS app can use the "iOS location channel" to detect geofence boundaries. My simplistic idea to have this send an email with the subject line of "ENTER HOME" or "EXIT HOME" and then have a listening script receive the emails and issue HTTP commands to the SS web server to enable or disable cameras. (I know this is a bit convoluted and not instantaneous, but the email delay is ok as this will only happen once or twice a day and not frequently.)

    Since my SecuritySpy web server is not exposed to the Internet, only available on the local LAN, this seems like the easiest but maybe not the simplest solution. (ICYMI, I have a VPN running so I remotely access the SecuritySpy web server by connecting via the VPN when using Remote Patrol or Spyglass via iOS; I don't want the automated solution to require navigating an automatic VPN login-in, etc.)

    I also run an Indigo home automation server on another Mac, so I'm considering using the existing email receiver capability of Indigo with an AppleScript or Python script to parse a simple incoming POP mail account for the triggers. (I prefer not to use iMessage or Message app on the Mac as I don't want that added complexity or requirement to have the Mac logged in to a different iCloud account than it currently uses.)
  • This would be a useful feature to have built into SecuritySpy, and we will certainly consider this as a possible future addition to the software. However it would most likely require your SecuritySpy web server exposed to the Internet (via port forwarding and DDNS) in order for the iPhone to send it the "home" or "away" message.

    Your idea using IFTTT should work, and I can't really think of a better way to do it. As far as I can make out, IFTTT cannot directly issue HTTP GET requests upon a geofence trigger (this would be the more direct way of doing it but again this would require SecuritySpy to be exposed to the Internet).
  • Thanks for the feedback. If SecuritySpy implements this, I would suggest adding an email receiver/simple command-script processor directly in SecuritySpy. This would simplify the back-end portion and give users an option that does not involve exposing the server to the Internet.

    You could even call it a "chat bot" interface if you wanted to hype the latest trend of command line/scripting interfaces that is all the rage right now.

    If would be nice if Remote Patrol and Spyglass added the GeoFence triggers to avoid having to use the ITTT app at all.

    Lastly, I'm testing Stringify instead of IFTTT - it is much better tool with a lot more capability than IFTTT. Worth a look even for non SecuritySpy applications.
  • I think you are maybe overthinking this :-) No need to overcomplicate with sending mails and such.

    Since you have Indigo, there is a much simpler way.
    Use the home remote app (from bouncing ball, he is also on the indigo forum), and set your geofences in home remote.
    This will trigger any Indigo action you like, and Indigo can control SecuritySpy through Perry's plugins.

    And you're all set.
  • Thanks petecam - I have Home Remote, but didn't know it could do Geofencing. The app UI is not that great and the docs are sometimes confusing. Can you point me to where Geofencing is set up?

    Can Home Remote trigger Indigo actions through a VPN or does the Indigo server have to be local on the LAN with the iDevice running Home Remote? I currently use a VPN as I don't expose Indigo to the Internet or use their subscription proxy service.

    (I've only played with it making local Indigo server action buttons to turn devices on/off, etc.)
  • In Home Remote, when you have set up your actions, there are 3 dots (...) on the right side. If you click them, they reveal a few tools, the second one (the arrow icon) is where you define your geofences, either a beacon or via apple's location system.

    About VPN, I'm not sure. I don't think that Home Remote can initiate a VPN connection, but you might want to check with the developer. He does respond on the Indigo forum.
  • As a follow-up, I did not find Home Remote useful as the Geofence can only trigger local LAN actions. (There is a "remote access" version of the app that runs on Mac OS, but I find that to be too minimal to be trustworthy and I don't want to relay on yet another 3rd party proxy service that may stop working at any time.)

    I have in the interim used IFTTT or Stringify iOS apps to send emails when Geofence is triggered and then receive those incoming emails in Indigo to use as triggers.

    Controlling SecuritySpy in Indigo with the plug-ins is great. That is the easiest part of this and very useful.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!