IF This Then That (IFTTT) is a service that allows users to create customized IF statements using web services. The conditional statements that are used in the service is called “applets”. The user can select from a collection of already configured applets or he/she can build them by themselves. Using this platform many of the everyday task can be automated. One can for instance set the system up to:
- Save photos that you are tagged in on Facebook to a Dropbox folder
- Wish your Facebook friends Happy Birthday automatically (A new low level will be reached for your Facebook friend relationships :-))
- Get notifications on your phone or tables if the temperature drops below a certain degree
- Time based reminders to drink water/meditate etc
- Give someone heads-up that you are on your way home
- Save your FitBit sleep logs to a google spreadsheet
- Get out of an awkward situation (My favorite!), you get a phone call if you press a trigger button
Basically the sky is the limit! The platform interacts with the vast majority of web-services and devices: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, Fitbit, Google, Telldus Live, GE Appliances, Notifications, Phone call, D-Link…and the list goes on.
There is also a nice button widget that can be applied to trigger events. So you can have your own button on the home screen of your phone that for instance sends your loves ones your position when you press it.
Infrastructure for IoT
What I have been missing when it comes to Internet of Things (IoT) is really an infrastructure on how to connect different services and devices. This is an encouraging platform that allows automation of everyday tasks. At the first look to the app itself it´s a bit difficult to really find the applets that solves the key problems that you as a user would like to have solved. It gets very noise looking through the discover section as this is packed with all sorts solutions to problems that you might not even have. My opinion is that some of the applets that are available are a bit lame. I don´t have a big issue that the profile picture on my Facebook account does not match my twitter account. I can however see a value in that instead of me sending a text message to wife that I am leaving the office she will automatically get a notification when I start the drive home. In the search section it is however possible to navigate between different categories and this was my approach to start exploring the capabilities.
The power of this system is really its potential! In the long run when it comes to IoT it will not be about that you find a nice solution to keep your grocery list updated with your family. Rather that the fridge tells you that you are running short on milk, later that it will automatically add this to the grocery list and even later that it will place the order for milk based on big data analysis.
In the end I think that this service is a really good one and I am looking forward to exploring it´s capabilities. One of its key features is that it is free!