All Things Automated with IFTTT

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You pronounce it as “Gift”. Well, without the “G”, actually.

Much like your cooking class, IFTTT allows you to make your own recipes. However, unlike any cooking class, it makes you create your own recipe using only two ingredients- a trigger and an action. The end product? A better digital life.

IFTTT is the recipe for home automation. It allows you to do programming logics based on sets of triggers and sets. If you’re frustrated in trying to learn programming languages, IFTTT can make you feel like a pro.

Primarily, IFTTT stands for “If This, Then That”. It’s a specific place on the internet where you’ll find many apps sitting on one site. However, you only need two apps for a single recipe- one app as a trigger for This and another app to action for That. Simple isn’t it? It’s like waking up in the morning and have your coffee done even before you’re out of bed.

To get you more excited, here are five more ingredients you could play around with.

1. Life360

            When you tell your kid to send you a message when he gets to school, you expect her to drop you one. Unfortunately, she forgot.

            Life360 is a family tracking app. It can keep you from getting angry with your forgetful  kid once you link it up with IFTTT. You can set the app to send you an alert once your child enters the school perimeter. It works on husbands, too.

Other than keeping track of your family member’s location, you can also link Life360 to automate your home. Say for example, have your lights at home to turn off once everyone is out of the house. It can save you from that extra trip back home just to check. It can let you save on your electricity bill as well. It can also help you secure your home by locking all your doors once the last person in the house leaves the geofence.

While you may find familiarity of such features to other apps,  Life360 makes it more convenient by linking the family’s locations and movements instead of focusing on just one individual.

2. Weather Channel

            Controlling your lights at home every day can be a tedious task. Fortunately, with IFTTT, you can set your lights to turn on every 6 pm- automatically. However,  at 6 pm today, it was still not that dark to have your lights turned on. You then change your recipe to 7 pm. The next day,  7 pm was already too dark. You should have turned your lights on by 6 pm.

Frustrating, right?

With the Weather Channel, other than time, you can also set your home to respond to the weather conditions. It would be more convenient to set up your lights to turn on when the sun sets than to make it time dependent, right?. You may also use  humidity, UV indexes and even the wind speed as triggers for your recipes.

IFTTT plus the Weather Channel also means playing with different scenarios. Much like having a different menu every day, you can set up a unique rule for each day of the week.

3. SmartThings

            The world has gotten better.

The SmartThings channel has more than 200 recipes in its shelf. All you need to do is to ignite that imagination for unique possibilities. However, if you’re feeling quite lazy on making your own recipe, don’t fret. SmartThings has a pre made list of triggers and actions.

While automatically turning on a certain light in the house is already impressive, IFTTT can do the same task better by triggering another event to happen. Say for example, you like the doors  to close automatically every time you leave the house at 8 am. SmarthThings can make that happen. With an IFTTT recipe, on the other hand, you can further set an action that will send your husband a text message saying that you’re on your way to work

SmarthThings’ geofence is another example. While the sensors can trigger the system to arm automatically whenever you leave the perimeter, IFTTT can make sure all doors are locked and no air conditioner is left cooling up the empty house.

4. Jawbone

            What’s better than to have your coffee ready when you wake up?  When it is served fresh and hot. Nobody likes his coffee cold anyway.

But  how do your system know what time you’ll wake up?

Jawbone tells. It’s a fitness tracker. With IFTTT, it can sync your body to your home so it knows when you need your coffee. It also knows when you need the lights on.

However, other than your sleep, you can also use IFTTT with Jawbone to keep track on staying fit, your meal and even your mood. You can even use it to warn your friends that you did not get a good night  sleep.

Here’s a few creative  Jawbone IFTTT recipes:

  • If I haven’t worked out in three days, text my trainer that I’ll need some motivation.
  • Broadcast a celebratory message when I lose 5 lbs.
  • If sleep > 7 hours, good mood.

5. WeMo

            If you haven’t met WeMo, it’s actually a switch. If you pair it with IFTTT, the meaning changes to  total  home automation.

WeMo, as a switch, can make you control your appliances at home. If you’re the lazy type, it can make you quite excited. It can automatically control your lights, your heater and even your television set. What’s more interesting is that you can program it with IFTTT to cut back on your electricity.

Say for example, your electricity consumption reaches your limit and it’s still not the end of the month. You can program your devices to automatically turn off once it reaches your set limit for the day. If you want to be informed when it has turned itself off, you can even set it to send you an email or text.

In the world of home automation, it’s quite easy to get lost in the moment. Fortunately, when you get lost, you still got your home under control. Crazy,right?

You can set it and then forget all about it.

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