What is it?

PHLocation2 is a software plug-in for both Windows and Linux versions of Homeseer HS3.


What does it do?

The plug-in works with several external services and applications (see below for a list of supported services) to provide location based information to HS3. Information is presented in groups of HS3 devices.


A typical group of Homeseer devices representing an iPhone device


Services and applications are broadly split into 2 types.


Position based services / applications

Position based services and applications generally provide the device's current location in the form of latitude, longitude and fix accuracy as a minimum. Depending on the service they can also provide other data including altitude, speed, course, device battery level and charging state etc.


The plug-in can maintain a list of "Known Locations" that the user can add / edit as required. These work alongside position based devices and allow HS3 events to be triggered if a device enters or leaves a known location. Usually (depending on the location update frequency of the position device) this is not as fast as a true Geofencing application at detecting if a device enters or leaves a given location.


Geofence services / applications

A geofence is a predefined area on a map. Generally this consists of a circular area defined by a centre point (latitude & longitude) and a radius value.

Geofencing applications are usually installed on a mobile device and allow the user to define a number of different geofences. The application will then detect if the device enters or exits any of these and send a notification to the plug-in. (e.g. Paul's iPhone has exited the Home geofence).

Many geofence applications can also work with BlueTooth beacons to detect if the device is / is not within range of a beacon.

Generally this is a much faster method of detecting if a device is at / not at a predefined location.


Communication methods

The various supported applications and services communicate with the plug--in in different ways. Broadly speaking communications methods can be split into 2 types:

  • Polled: The mobile application will send it's data to a 3rd party server and the plug-in will poll this server at regular intervals for the most recent data.
  • Direct: The mobile application sends its data directly to the plug-in. This can be achieved either using HS3's built in http server or via the MyHomeSeer service. MyHS is the simplest to set up and most secure option.

Services and applications that communicate directly with the plug-in generally provide faster updates than polled alternatives.


Supported services / applications and the communication method(s) they use.

Application / Service

Mobile Platform

Type

Data Acquisition Method

Backitude

Android

Location

Direct HTTP POST via HS3 web server or MyHS

FollowMee

Android / iOS

Location

Polled from 3rd party server

Life360

Android / iOS

Location

Polled from 3rd party server

iCloud (FindMyiPhone)

iOS

Location

Polled from 3rd party server

EgiGeoZone

Android

Location + Geofence + Beacons

Direct HTTP POST via HS3 web server or MyHS

Locative

Android / iOS

Geofence + Beacons

Direct HTTP POST or GET via HS3 web server or MyHS

Geofency

iOS

Geofence + Beacons

Direct HTTP POST or GET via HS3 web server or MyHS

Monitored Devices

N/A

Location

Monitoring other HS3 devices for location data

Tasker

Android

Location

Direct HTTP POST or GET via HS3 web server or MyHS

Custom Geofence

N/A

Geofence

Direct HTTP POST or GET via HS3 web server or MyHS

Custom Position

N/A

Location

Direct HTTP POST or GET via HS3 web server or MyHS

Traccar Geofence

N/A

Geofence

Direct HTTP POST or GET via HS3 web server or MyHS

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