IFTTT may be the DIY tool you are looking for to bring your smart home together. As the Internet of Things continues to grow and we end up with more and more smart devices and personal assistant apps, there is an increasing desire for everything to work together. One solution has been gaining traction the last couple years, IFTTT.
Those of you who consider yourself DIY types, comfortable working with Apps, and figuring out things yourself, will likely really like IFTTT. For the rest of the folks that want to automate, but prefer to leave all the fancy setting up to folks who do it for a living, know that IFTTT is one bag of solutions that many installers may use to get your smart home to be more capable.
What is IFTTT?
IFTTT is a cloud based service, whose sole purpose is to help the items in your life work better together. There is a huge amount of support for home automation products, but there is so much more also. I should add, it is pronounced like “gift” with out the g. I have been spewing out the letters for years, who knew? IFTTT has support for upwards of 400 devices and services. You can find ready made applets ( these used to be called recipes) on their site. These applets are what you create to automate tasks. Each applet is a combination of two services. They are very easy to create. The first step is to choose the “If This” app. Which designates what will cause the applet to trigger. You then select the “Than That” app and choose an action to take place.
Creating your first IFTTT applet.
Getting started is easy. You can visit the IFTTT website, or download the app for your Android or iOS device. Then you can create applets to automate tasks and make things happen. One Applet that I have created takes advantage of IFTTT being compatible with Wink smart hub shortcuts. I wanted to automate the light on my front porch. When you install the app on your phone, you have all kinds of ways to trigger events. You can use Locations, txt messages, emails and so many other things.
I used the location feature to create a simple applet that turns my front porch light on when I get close. Setting it up was easy. In the IFTTT app, I selected the plus sign to enter the Applet creator, then select Android Location as the IF portion of the applet. I was able to configure and select an area on a map. In lots of smart home geekery, this is often called geofencing. Where you use your device’s GPS location to trigger events.
To finish the applet, I tapped the plus sign by the That portion. Then selected Wink shortcuts. I was prompted to enter my Wink [sam_pro id=”1_14″ codes=”true”]account information, which connected IFTTT to my Wink smart hub shortcuts. Once connected IFTTT was able to turn on my front porch light when my phone entered the setup trigger area in the applet. I did find that when using the newly created applet, I had to configure a large area, which caused my porch light to turn on when I was just in the neighborhood. Not the biggest of problems. I initially tried a more specific area. The IFTTT app, would prompt me and inform me that for more reliable functionality I should choose a larger region. It would then restart the selectionThe Power of IFTTT is not just for home automation, while it does have the ability to connect a huge array of devices. It can also connect and automate so many other things. While exploring the site , I noticed an applet that allows you to text your phone to turn the ringer up to 100% incase you lose it. That would sure be helpful. I don’t know about you, but I keep mine on vibrate most of the time. When those rare moments arise, that would be a welcomed tool to find it. Some of the other applets you see on the front page are
- Update your Android wallpaper with new NASA photos
- Back up Photos you’re tagged in on Facebook to an iOS album
- Mute your android phone when you arrive at work
- Tell Alexa to find your phone
- Sync all your iOS contacts to a Google spreadsheet
- Tweet your Instagrams as native photos on twitter