Geo-fencing is the creation of a virtual boundary around a particular location, or a person. This virtual boundary can be detected by a device such as a mobile phone which can then trigger an action based on you crossing the boundary.

So geo-fencing a smart home means creating a virtual boundary round your home.  You do this to be able to send a message to one or more of your smart devices to take action when you and / or others in your family cross this boundary

For example, an app could create a boundary of 50m around your home and trigger a reminder on your mobile phone when you cross the boundary i.e. when you are about to reach home.

In the case of smart heating, you can set up a boundary so that when you go a certain distance from your home, the heating is automatically turned down or off.  Then when you cross the boundary on your way back, the heating is turned up / on.

So you no longer waste energy if you forget to turn the heating down when you leave your house; and the heating is on when you return giving you a warm and comfortable home to come back to.

The Nest smart thermostat’s Home / Away Assist uses geo-fencing as one of  three ways to determine when you are away and so when to turn down the heating

  1. The smart thermostat has motion sensors to detect if anyone is present (Away Assist feature)
  2. Geo-fencing can be set up so that everyone leaving the set area round the home signals for the heating to be turned down.  It can monitor up to 10 mobile phones for presence or absence.
  3. Nest’s thermostat is a smart learning thermostat which learns family schedules.  These are then used to determine when to turn the temperature setting to the away temperature you have set.

These features are described in this Nest YouTube video.

Find out more about the capabilities of the Nest thermostat and the services Homesmart provide with it on our single zone heating page.

Geo-fencing can also be set up for Honeywell Evohome multi-zone smart heating using IFTTT recipes such as this one