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Presence Detection for a Child with no Phone.

Next school year, my son will be left home after school for a few hours while my wife and I are at work. I'm looking for a way to detect when he's home and have the front door unlock (among other automation scripts that are in place).

I came across this post and was going to get the Tile Pro as it seemed to check off all my requirements:

  • I could put it in his backpack where it can be forgotten.
  • long battery life.
  • Through the Home Assistant integration, it can trigger when it gets in range.
  • It also has a few other beneficial things, so I was thinking of putting one on each of our bicycles in case they're ever stolen. Hell, I could look into putting one on my cat's collar in case she ever gets out.

Then I came across some concerning articles regarding data harvesting. The whole reason I started self-hosting was to prevent data harvesting, so it seems like the Tile is a non-starter for me.

Has anyone been in this (or a similar) situation? Mainly, I'm looking for a device I can put in my son's backpack that can trigger when he's within range, so the house will open for him. BLE seems like it might be a solution, though I run my server on an old Dell r720 enterprise server in my basement, so I don't currently have Bluetooth functionality (and it's pretty far away from the front door, 20+ feet), though getting that is not a dealbreaker for me.

  • Addendum: To people saying just get a key: we have a key for him. I have a monolith sized server in my basement that automates most everything in my house these days, and was curious if anyone had set up something similar to what I was thinking. Home automation is very much a hobby, and I'm using it to learn new things.