If you want to get the most out of your growing digital smart home or your online life in general, you need to check out IFTTT. A web service that allows you to link other web services through the use of small, simple programs called recipes. IFTTT (which stands for “If This, Then That” — a basic programming language statement) is garnering a lot of attention in the tech industry. Don’t let the fact that these recipes are essentially small computer programs scare you off — IFTTT is easy to learn and you’ll be taking advantage of its cool functionality in no time.
If you have an interest in adding home automation to your residence, note that many HA companies are adding their own IFTTT recipes. ADT is doing the same thing for the home security market. So, let’s dig down deeper into the growing world of IFTTT.
A Closer Look at IFTTT
As mentioned earlier, IFTTT is a web service that links other web services using recipes that leverage the conditional statements used in programming languages. For example, if you want to receive an email whenever someone you know tweets something with a certain hashtag, you can build a recipe to do just that. Considering that there are over 15 million IFTTT recipes in daily use, chances are pretty good you can use an existing recipe and never have to write your own.
IFTTT is available in a web-based application, and there are also mobile apps for the Android and iOS platforms. The software’s freeware license ensures you won’t have to pay for adding this extra functionality to your digital life. Note that a paid version of the service allowing multiple accounts to share recipes has been discussed.
The service sees wide use among users with a presence on multiple social media sites. So if you post a photo on Instagram, you can use an IFTTT recipe to share that same photo on your Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ accounts. While that extra functionality is cool, where IFTTT holds real promise for the future involves the widespread adoption of the Internet of Things.
Using IFTTT to Secure Your Digital Smart Home
As more and more companies add web services compatible with IFTTT, the scope of the product grows exponentially. No longer is it a service only enhancing your social media presence. August’s announcement that ADT is building a collection of recipes that support IFTTT adds some interesting functionality that makes managing your smart home an easier process.
The home security giant is adding an ADT Pulse channel to IFTTT so users of that ADT product are able to leverage both home automation and home security features for their smart home. For example, if your house is already armed with IFTTT-compatible environmental sensors, an ADT recipe automatically sets your thermostats based on the readings from those sensors. This has the potential to save you money in heating bills while maintaining a more comfortable house.
Given the potential for hackers to gain access to a web-enabled home security system, ADT is spending months in beta testing before opening their IFTTT channel to the public next year. As the largest home security company announcing support for the IFTTT — Honeywell and SmartThings are also in the game — expect other players in this sector to add their channels to the world of IFTTT over the next few years.
A Wide Range of Smart Home Devices Adding IFTTT Support
Many producers of devices suitable for the smart home are adding IFTTT support. They include Automatic Lab’s plug-in for your car that sends auto telemetry info to your smartphone and even can turn on your lights and A/V system in your house when you shut off your engine using an IFTTT recipe. Nest thermometers and smoke detectors, Philips Hue LED lights, and the SmartThings home automation system all feature IFTTT support.
Fitness buffs need to note that Fitbit now supports IFTTT with a host of recipes to track your exercise regimen. Needless to say, this open IFTTT system can be an important part of optimizing your digital life, from smartphones to fitness to securing your smart home. Soon everyone will be writing their own “If Then” statements to make their world run a little more efficiently.
Photo Credit: Sekimura