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BTScanner Bluetooth phone presence detector for home automation

BTScanner Bluetooth-based presence detector is a new product released in 2021. It detects presence of (pre-defined) mobile phones by finding (but not connecting to) their Bluetooth ID, and is capable of running HTTP URL calls on the local WiFi network to control Shelly smart devices or Sonoff devices with Tasmota firmware (or other smart devices compatible with HTTP API calls). Also, it can connect to an MQTT server via MQTT protocol, therefore it is compatible with OpenHAB, Home Assistant, Homey and FHEM systems.

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Supported protocols:
Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
last pieces (5 pcs)

Our mobile phone is maybe the only thing we always keep close to ourselves, therefore it can be used as a presence detector in a smart home or a smart office to run 'arrived home' or 'left home' automations.

BTScanner uses classic Bluetooth 2.0 based technology to detect the presence of mobile phones within its detection range. MACaddress of detectable mobile phones shall be pre-registered on it admin. interface. These BT‐MACaddresses are searched continuously (cyclically) by BTScanner without having to pair the phones with BTScanner's Bluetooth (and it actually cannot be paired). If the BTScanner finds at least one of the BT‐MAC addresses, the presence (switch) turns "on". However, if it does not find any BT‐MAC address 5 times (over 5 cycles), the presence switch will turn "off". When presence switch is turned on or off, pre-defined HTTP URL calls are sent to compatible devices, e.g. Shelly smart devices (even with factory firmware) or Sonoff devices (with Tasmota firmware) accepting HTTP API calls.

These direct device-to-Device (DDD) HTTP calls are sent directly to compatible devices (e.g. Shelly, Sonoff-Tasmota, ESPEasy), there is no need to use a local automation server for this feature.

BTScanner also supports sending MQTT messages to a local MQTT server when present switch turns on or off, therefore it is also compatible with Home Assistant, OpenHAB, FHEM, Homey systems. (Home Assistant config is available for download.)

BTScanner Bluetooth-based mobile phone presence detector is a useful extension of home automation systems. Thanks to the used Bluetooth v2.0 protocol, it is also compatible with traditional mobile phones, not just smart homes. No need to install any app on the phone, nor pair the phone by Bluetooth, nor have any special settings on the phone. All you will need to do is to specify the Bluetooth MACaddress of the phones on the settings page of the BTScanner and keep the Bluetooth "ON" on the phones, and BTScanner will detect all those phones with approx. 10 meters range (but would not BT connect to them).

When detecting any phones in the range:

  • would initiate HTTP URL calls (Shelly DDD, Direct Device-to-Device calls) to Shelly smart devices or Sonoff devices with Tasmota firmware on the local network,
  • or use MQTT to connect to MQTT-compatible local home automation systems, such as OpenHAB; Home Assistant, FHEM or Homey.


HTTP commands are sent in case any of the pre-defined phones are detected, while in case of MQTT the detected phone MACaddress is sent to the MQTT server so specific phone-based automation is also possible.

In total: maximum 15 configuration lines are accepted in BTScanner admin page (phone BT MACaddress and HTTP URLs together). It is suggested to specify no more than 8-10 phone Bluetooth IDs, because more phones may cause the search cycle too long and finding phones to slow, because the BT search cycle is 6 seconds per phone defined, so in case of 1 phone phone is found practically immediately, in case of 3 phones withing 18 sec., but in case of 10 phones only within 60 seconds/1 minute.

In case the 10 meters range of Bluetooth scanner is not enough for a home or an office (larger size or multi-storey buildings, or large garden etc.) or you wish to pair more than 10 phones, or you also need to automate garage door opener or a gate opener, then you will need multiple BTScanner presence detectors. They can work independently from each other or work together in a master-slave relationship.

If the WiFi connection is not configured yet, or the configured network is unavailable, the device will create its own WiFi AP (Access Point), and we can connect to it directly with phone, tablet or PC to set up the configuration.


If you wish to automate opening / closing a motorized gate or a garage door when arriving home, we suggest to use BTScanner with a BTCarUSB accessory instead of setting a phone based detection. 


Why? Because if we create an automation based on detection of our phone, we may unintentionally open our gate or garage door just by accidentally getting in the range of the BTScanner when walking in the garden or passing close to the garage. The solution for that is to install a BTCarUSB USB stick into the USB slot of the car or into a cigarette lighter USB charger, and set the BTScanner to detect the presence of the USB stick which is only possible when the car engine is on and the USB slot is under power. When the car is parked and power is off, BTScanner will no longer detect the USB stick installed in the car and would not open the gate or garage door, and moreover it would initiate the closing commands after 5 search cycles.



  • Thanks to Bluetooth 2.0 it is compatible with practically almost all phones (Android, iPhone, old phones)
  • Supports DDD (HTTP API) commands to Shelly relays  - Shelly 1 / 1PM / 2 / 2.5 / 4Pro
  • Supports HTTP API) commands to Sonoff devices with Tasmota firmware
  • Supports ESPEasy
  • Supports control of roller shutters.
  • Alexa compatible (via IFTTT)
  • Supports 15 configuration lines (MAC BT 2.0 address and DDD commands) (max. 8-10 mobile phones suggested)
  • HTTP DDD commands and MQTT messages are sent when BTScanner detects at least one phone, or when all devices are lost (for min. 5 search cycles)
  • If Bluetooth range is too small or more than 8-10 phone should be configured, you may use multiple BTScanners
  • Configuration of BTScanner can be made on a password-protected web administration interface
  • Device firmware can be updated on web interface
  • Compatible with Home Assistant, OpenHAB, FHEM, Homey 


Additional accessories:


BTScanner needs a microUSB power adaptor, which is not an accessory but sold separately. We suggest this practical power adapter, which comes with a a self-adhesive velcro, also accessory) to hold the BTSCanner device as shown on the below picture:

Product type:
Bluetooth based phone presence detector
Device power supply:
5V microUSB
230V AC plug
RF transmitter / receiver:
Controllable from internet:
configurable on local area WiFi network
Manufacturer smartphone app:
Web admin interface:
Cloud mode:
LAN mode:
REST API support:
MQTT support:
Supported integrations:
Home Assistant, OpenHAB, Homey, FHEM, HTTP API (Shelly DDD, Tasmota Sonoff), MQTT
99 g/pcs
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BTScanner Bluetooth phone presence detector for home automation
BTScanner Bluetooth phone presence detector for home automation