How to Monitor Your Doors with SmartThings

Amazon Delivery Monitoring Doors Samsung Smartthings

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as missing a delivery when you were at home the entire time. Maybe you have a habit of leaving the TV on full blast or listening to music on your headphones. Whatever the reason, missing an important delivery is no fun, but thanks to home automation, you can now monitor your doors and make sure you never miss anything again.

By the end of this article, you’ll have set up a SmartThings Multipurpose sensor that detects the vibrations of someone knocking on your door and then sends a notification to your smartphone. As long as you keep your phone close by and connected to the Internet, you can be confident that you’ll never miss an important delivery again.

What you’ll need

To complete this tutorial, you’ll need:

Preparing Samsung’s Multipurpose sensor

A single Multipurpose sensor can detect door open/close events, monitor the temperature, and detect movement, which SmartThings refers to as “acceleration.”

When someone knocks on your door, that door will vibrate slightly, which is usually enough movement to register as acceleration. You can use these vibrations as the trigger for a home automation rule that notifies you every time someone’s at your front door.

If you’re using a new Multipurpose sensor, then the first step is activating this sensor and adding it to your home automation network:

  1. Pull the sensor’s “Remove to pair” tab.
  2. On your smartphone, launch the SmartThings Classic application.
  3. Tap the “My Home” tab.
  4. Tap “Things -> Add a Thing.” The app will now display a “Looking for devices …” message.
You'll need to add your Multipurpose sensor to the SmartThings network.
  1. Once the app has detected your Multipurpose sensor, tap “Rename device” and give it a unique name.
  2. Select “Done -> Save -> OK.”

This device has now been added to your smart home automation network.

Attaching the SmartThings sensor to your door

Next, you’ll need to attach the Multipurpose sensor to the door that you want to monitor. Samsung’s Multipurpose sensor comes with a selection of screws and adhesive patches that you can use to affix it to the desired position.

However, detecting vibrations isn’t an exact science, so you may need to experiment in order to reliably detect someone knocking on your door. At this point it’s recommended that you use temporary adhesive patches, just in case you need to change the sensor’s positioning at a later date.

Set up the Notify Me SmartApp

Now that you’ve attached the sensor, you need to set up the rule within the SmartThings application. For the sake of ease, install the Notify Me SmartApp:

  1. Toward the bottom of the screen, tap the “Marketplace” tab.
You can install additional SmartApps, in Samsung's Marketplace.
  1. Select “SmartApps.”
  2. Tap “Safety & Security -> Notify Me When.”
Install the Notify Me When SmartApp.
  1. Tap “Acceleration Detected.”
  2. Select the sensor that you just attached to your door, and tap “Done.”
  3. Scroll to “Message Text” and type the message you want to receive every time someone knocks on your door.
  4. In “Enter a phone number to get SMS,” type your mobile phone number.
  5. Tap “Notify me via Push Notification” and select “Yes -> Done.”
  6. Tap “Assign a name,” and give this SmartApp a descriptive name.
  7. When you’re happy with the information you’ve entered, tap “Save.”

You’ll now receive a smartphone notification every time someone knocks on your door.

SmartThings will now generate a push notification for your smartphone.

Since detecting vibrations reliably can be a case of trial and error, this is the perfect time to put your home automation rule to the test, by knocking on various areas of your door and with varying degrees of strength. You can then monitor the notifications you’re receiving on your smartphone to gauge whether the Multipurpose sensor really is in the best position.

Automate everything with Routines and Modes

Make this automation rule more useful by ensuring you only receive notifications when you’re at home and are actually able to answer the door!

As soon as you return home, you want the SmartThings network to run the “I’m Back” routine, switch the house to “Home” mode, and notify you if anyone knocks on the front door.

To make things easier, use SmartThings’s ready-made “I’m Back!” routine and “Home” mode:

  1. In the SmartThings Classic app, tap the “Automation” tab.
  2. Find the “I’m Back!” routine and give its accompanying cog icon a tap.
We'll be editing Samsung's built-n I'm Back routine.
  1. Tap “Change the mode to …” and select “Home.”
  2. Tap “Automatically perform I’m Back!”
  3. Select “Someone arrives -> Which.”
  4. Choose your presence sensor from the list. If you installed the SmartThings Classic mobile app, then you can use your smartphone as a presence sensor.
Find your presence sensor in the list, and give it a tap.
  1. Tap “Done,” followed by “Save > Save.”

When you return home, SmartThings will run the “I’m Back!” routine and switch the house into “Home” mode. The final step is editing the rule so that you only receive smartphone notifications when the house is in “Home” mode:

  1. Tap the “Automation” tab.
  2. Select “SmartApps.”
  3. Find the rule that you just created and give it a tap.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and select “Set for specific modes.”
  5. On the subsequent screen, select “Home.”
  6. Tap “Done -> Save.”

Now you’ll only receive notifications when you’re at home.

In a previous tutorial, we used this same sensor to create a safer, more secure home by monitoring doors and windows for suspicious activity. We have also shown how to connect SmartThings to Amazon Alexa for voice automation. Stay tuned for more smart home tutorials to automate and safeguard your home.

Jessica Thornsby
Jessica Thornsby

Jessica Thornsby is a technical writer based in Derbyshire, UK. When she isn’t obsessing over all things tech, she enjoys researching her family tree, and spending far too much time with her house rabbits.

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