HSBuddy

A mobile client for HomeSeer

HSBuddy lets you use HomeSeer to track the geolocation of one or more mobile devices and run events when these devices enter or leave a predetermined area.

This feature requires installing the HSBuddy plugin on your HomeSeer server, as detailed in the Installing HSBuddy section.

How does it work?

The HSBuddy application running in your phone or tablet starts a background running service that monitors the accelerometer in your device and wakes up when it detects your device is moving. While your device is in motion, the background service will periodically collect the current location of your phone and submit it to your HomeSeer server.

The HSBuddy plug-in running in your server lets you create one or more geofence. A geofence is a circular geographical region. You can then create event triggers and conditions based on whether your devices cross into or out of a particular region. The plug-in is also constantly listening for location updates coming from your mobile devices. With every new update, the plug-in evaluates event triggers based on the new information and fires off events accordingly.

Keeping track of your mobile device geolocation requires connectivity to your server from wherever your device is located. This feature will not be available if you have configured HSBuddy to connect to your server via a local network (LAN).

Setting it up

After installing the latest version of the HSBuddy application on your mobile device, and the latest version of the HSBuddy plug-in in your server, follow these steps:

Create geofences:

Add new geofence

Manage geofences

View client locations

Enable geolocation:

Geolocation settings

Check your devices:

Create events:

Geofencing trigger

If you select the special value of Any Device, the event will fire off when the first device that has enabled geolocation enters or leaves the specified geofence. If you select the special value All Devices, the event will fire after the last device that has enabled geolocation enters or leaves the specified geofence.

Using margins

If you set your setting for Accuracy in the app to anything lower than High, HSBuddy will rely on cell tower and Wi-fi information to determine the current location. While being close to the edge of a geofence, it is possible that the mobile device will switch back and forth between cell towers inside and outside the geofence. This may cause events with geofence triggers to fire unnecessarily.

The HSBuddy plug-in lets you set a Margin around your geofence which will help correct this problem by adding a buffer around your geofence. To go into a geofence, a device must be within the Radius of the geofence. To go out of a geofence, a device must be outside the Margin.

The Margin will display in the map as a round area beyond the Radius of the fence, with a lighter background color.

Geofence margin

Troubleshooting

Check your accuracy settings

If you are getting inconsistent location updates, try increasing the accuracy of location data. To do this, on the app, go to Options > Geolocation and slide the bar under Accuracy further to the right. Also, make sure to disable the setting for Significant changes only.

Check your device permissions

If you do not see location updates on the server or the location seems to update only when the app is running, make sure that the app is granted permissions to access location data All the time - including when the app is not running or is running in the background. See the following articles for more information on how to verify the settings depending on your phone:

File a report

If all else fails, follow these steps to file a bug report from the app:

Make sure you are running the latest version of HSBuddy available

  1. On your HS server, from the HSBuddy plugin options, turn on Debug/Verbose logging
  2. On your phone, open the HSBuddy app
  3. Go to Options > Feedback
  4. Tap on Report Feedback
  5. Go to Options > Geolocation
  6. Turn Geolocation OFF and then turn it back to ON
  7. Wait for confirmation that Geolocation was enabled successfully (otherwise, skip to step #)
  8. Close the app
  9. Take a walk or ride with your phone making sure to move beyond a 100ft radius
  10. When you finish, check the logs on your HS server. Note whether you received location updates from your phone during step #9
  11. Open the HSBuddy app on your phone
  12. Go to Options > Feedback
  13. Tap on the top item to send your report