IOS Geofencing capability for SecuritySpy
  • Hi,

    It would be great if in a future version it would be possible to add geofencing/location based capability to the app. So that you could set it to detect when you leave the premises and then arm SecuritySpy, then disarm when you return.


    Cheers!
  • Hi Andy, yes I like this idea and it has been requested a few times, though it isn't easy to implement. I'll see what we can do for a future update.
  • Fantastic thanks Ben
  • One thing to consider is to do what Indigo (Home Automation) server does -- it has an option to monitor an email account and parse simple commands in the content of the email.

    It will monitor google or regular IMAP accounts and either mark or delete emails that are processed

    This provides a way to do a lot of automation by setting up a special email account "myserver@blah.com" and sending commands to it.

    Although email is a bit awkward and has a little delay, the advantage of having this is that this provide a universal way to get commands to a server that avoids all the hard issues of dealing with UPnP, routers, port-forwarding, VPN, SSL, etc.

    In my case, I use the Stringify or IFTTT app to send an email when a Geofence is triggered, so I can kludge Geofencing to Indigo and other servers that do not have Gofence support as long as they have an email command processor. (I have Indigo receiving the GeoFence alerts and then scripts in Indigo control SecuritySpy using REST commands to arm/disarm cameras.)

    In a somewhat related issue (adding missing functionality), I use the iOS "Pushover" app (an email-to-Apple Push notification service gateway) to add "push" alerts for apps and services that don't have built-in push messages.

    Just to be clear: I think SecuritySpy should directly have GeoFencing support as it is very useful and common scenario, but if you were to first implement an email command gateway, then at least we all have one "universal" way to do custom integration with SecuritySpy while you work on more specific direct support for features that are harder/take longer to implement.
  • Hi @Spiv thanks for the feedback and suggestions, we'll take a look at this. I definitely think Geofencing would be a good feature to add soon.
  • FWIW, I'm sure this has been thought of before, but another approach could be flagging if your iOS device is logged into the local WIFI network that the MacOS SS app is running on.

    If your iOS device leaves the local network, than the system assumes you've left the area and arms (or some other parameter changes) the system. When you re-join the local network, the system changes back to the original state.

    This setup would obviously be complicated if the user logs into their local network via VPN - from a GEOloc that's away - where you might want the system to remain armed. Maybe someone has a detection method to differentiate the two.

    @Ben, do you know of a way for the iOS app and the MacOS app to detect each other on the same network and differentiate VPN access? Maybe there's a way to use Bonjour or Bluetooth somehow?
  • Hi @xmx - yes, detecting the iPhone on the network seems to be a good way to do this. Ideally it would need to be done at device-level rather than app-level, to avoid negatively impacting battery life due to background app activity. It looks like the best solution might be to use the ARP protocol to check for the presence of the iPhone's MAC address on the network. We are currently looking into this.
  • Hey @Ben. That's great. MAC address would be a great approach. Glad to hear it's on the radar.

    Another suggestion regarding this feature: Setting a variable in the app to allow for how quickly the system reacts to the change in location. For example, after the system detects your phone has left the network, wait X seconds before arming the system. That way, if you temporarily drop off WIFI reception, the system won't arm immediately (unless you want it to).
  • Hi @xmx yes that's a good idea, we'll incorporate some sort of delay setting, as you describe.
  • Thanks @Ben. That's great to hear. I'm not sure how many people have expressed an interest in this feature, but I think it would be very helpful for many folks.

    FWIW, from a business perspective for you, this kind of auto-arm/disarm feature set could really help market your product to the growing number of (less technical) people looking to setup home security.
  • Ben, any update on Geofencing? It would be noice to reduce that at-home chatter
  • We have been working on this, but it's more complicated than we originally thought. Basically it's not possible to do this reliably by checking presence of the device on the network. What we'll need to do is use Apple's location APIs on iOS to get notifications of changes in location, and then coordinate with macOS SecuritySpy to decide what actions to take. So while this should be coming in a future update, it will require some further work, and updates to both our iOS and macOS SecuritySpy apps.
  • Thanks for the update!
  • I have a Honeywell thermostat that has geofencing (basically, so it can save energy when I'm not home.) I believe it uses HomeKit APIs for geofencing. Would that be an option for SecuritySpy?
  • I use Home Assistant home automation and it's location features. It runs a remote SSH script when the last person leaves my home on my Mac which turns on SS motion detection. The reverse happens when the first person returns home.

    Works well.
  • ben, any update? Would love to see this as the alerts for "at home" vs "away" could be really cool and help me reduce the false positives.
  • +1 for this feature.

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