Introducing Geo Fencing - take automation to the next level. Setup virtual barriers which automatically trigger scenes to activate when you cross. Let your home know you're there simply by carrying your mobile!
How to setup a GeoFence
Open VeraMate's settings, and select the new GeoFence tab.
  • Find the location you wish to fence. (You may use the location symbol to zoom in on your current position)
  • Hold down your finger on the location. This will drop a pin.
  • Enter a name for the GeoFence.
  • Click OK to save the GeoFence. Now that the fence is selected, you will see a slider appear on the map which will allow you to change the size, or range of the fence.
Once the GeoFence is created, you'll be able to use this fence to activate a scene. Find the scene you wish to use, and enter edit mode - hold down the button for 2 seconds. The GeoFence will appear towards the bottom of the setting options.
Use the appropriate buttons to turn the GeoFence on or off for this scene, and whether it should activate on entry, or exit.
How do I syncronize actions for multiple users?
In this scenario, you may want to trigger events only when all users leave the house (for example, to turn on the alarm), or, if anyone is home (turn off the alarm). This is simple using 2 plugins on your vera box. Lets run through what is involved (we'll do this for 2 users, Jack and Jill, but simply follow the same instructions to add more users):
  1. Create 2 virtual switches - these will be used to know when Jack or Jill is home
  2. Create a combination switch - this is the logic we'll know if anyone is home
  3. Create your triggers for when someone comes home, or everyone has left
  4. Create multiple GeoFence scenes to activate the virtual switches - this is what VeraMate will run
Pretty simple. VeraMate currently only activates scenes - support will come in the future to change a device directly which would simplify this slightly, but you still have full control now. These instructions all need to be done via the Web UI. This is also only 1 way to do this syncronization. There are other ways, for example using PLEG to get a lot more control over scene triggering.

Create two virtual switches
Install the Virtual Switch plugin. This will create a single Virtual Switch. Once it has finished installing, from the web UI, go to "APPS", and select "Virtual ON/OFF Switch" underneath "My Apps". This should bring up a screen that lets you "Create another".
You will now have 2 virtual switches. Change the names to be something more meaningful; via the setting for the switch, select Advanced, and change the name to be JackHome and JillHome.

Create a combination switch
Install the Combination Switch plugin. This will create the combination switch we'll use to specify whether anyone is home.
From the combination switch settings, first change the name to something meaningful, EG "Someone Home". Then click on the configure tab. Add 2 "Virtual Switch Status" options. Specify both For JackHome and JillHome "is ON". And then change the "switch is on" value to be 1, so that "1 or more watched items are true". Whenever someone is home, this combination switch will now be turned on.

Create your triggers
Create 2 scenes and setup a trigger based on the status of the combination switch - this will know whether someone is home or not.
  1. Noone is home : Make this arm the alarm. The trigger will be when the combination switch, "Someone Home", is turned OFF.
  2. Someone is home : Make this disarm the alarm. The trigger will be when the combination switch, "Someone Home", is turned ON.

Create the GeoFence scenes
The last step is to setup 4 scenes to turn on and off each users virtual switch depending on whether they're home or not.
  1. Jack is home : Make this set the virtual switch JackHome to be ON
  2. Jack is away : Make this set the virtual switch JackHome to be OFF
  3. Jill is home : Make this set the virtual switch JillHome to be ON
  4. Jill is away : Make this set the virtual switch JillHome to be OFF
All that remains is for Jack and Jill to both create their Home GeoFence in VeraMate and set their above scenes to activate on exit and entry accordingly.
Will GeoFencing drain my battery?
GeoFencing will require usage of the GPS on your mobile. This is a fairly battery intensive operation, so you will expect to see an impact on your battery usage. VeraMate will be using special algorithms to minimise this impact, however, this is the BETA version of GeoFencing and as such, we will expect the impact to be slightly more then you will see with next versions.
If you are noticing undue impact, there is a setting available to decrease accuracy which may help your battery life. Depending on your location and available cell towers etc, you may not experience much impact on accuracy. In settings/GeoFence, select a choice for the "Battery Usage" amount. The higher the battey usage, the more attempts that are made to obtain an accurate location if it is needed.
Trigger scenes only for certain times?
VeraMate currently doesn't allow scene configuration such as only allowing scenes/geofences to occur for certain times. This however, is possible via Vera's scene configuration with a little bit of advanced control.
You are able to specify some LUUP code, which is basically a script that tells Vera when the scene can be activated. For the scene in question, in the web UI edit the scene, and click on the LUUP section. From there, enter the following LUUP code from the wiki - this will for example only allow the scene to run between 22:30, and 05:30.

VeraMate attempts to have a mix between minimizing battery usage, while still atempting to get an accurate, and timely location after you activate a fence. Version 8.7 will allow better control over this usage (via the settings), however, if you are still finding GeoFencing isn't working, try these following tips:

  1. Ensure that you have enabled location services and background app refresh in Apple's settings.
  2. Enabling WiFi actually allows better location detection by using more of the WiFi signals around you.
  3. Try increasing or decreasing the range of the GeoFence - this could help by allowing the fence to try and activate sooner or later.
  4. GPS works by using satelite signals, so if you are inside, your iPhone will be unable to tell VeraMate exactly where you are.