Tuesday 20 May 2014

5 things I wish IFTTT.com would support

Having been less than complimentary about blog posts starting with "X things...." I now produce a blog post with exactly that title.

If you haven't heard or used IFTTT yet, you need to learn about it.  It's not an understatement to say that this service, or others like it, could become the backbone of machine-machine (software to software) automation.  For a home automation geek like myself, it opens lots of opportunities.  I'm already starting to use it for processing emails and alerting from my IP garage door project.

However, there are a few things I would love to see IFTTT include on their roadmap....

  1. AND functionality.  For example, I want to combine 2 triggers, so that if both of them are true at the same time, then the action is taken. Example: If you receive an SMS from The Boss AND it's after 6pm THEN reply with "I'll deal with this in the morning"
  2. Add an HTTP POST channel.  This would allow IFTTT to send an HTTP POST request to a web site/script of your choice based on a trigger.  The script (written in PHP for example) could perform, well, anything!  There is a work-around however.  For me, a great use of this would be to auto-generate a credit voucher for CheekySMS when I receive a specific SMS that tells me someone paid for credit.
  3. Introduce a Nest channel :) - I know Nest (Thermostats and Smoke Alarms) are already building an API, so wouldn't it be great if we could get things to happen based on temperature or potential dangerous events in our homes.  WeMo and Philips Hue are already supported so full home automation with IFTTT doesn't look too far away.  X10 aside, a standard home automation protocol has long alluded us, but with a service like this, it becomes less of a problem.  Device manufactures such as Nest, and Philips can focus on delivering great hardware (and APIs) and let services like IFTTT provide the middleware to translate between them all.
  4. Introduce a SIP voice channel - Alerting by SMS or email on your smartphone is all very well, but call me old fashioned, what really gets my attention is when the phone rings!  Just an automated, text to speech service would do!
  5. Introduce a text search capability - By this I mean, provide a specific web page URL to IFTTT and trigger on a content change or a specific item of text within that web page.  Great for alerting based on a price change on your favourite online store, or maybe getting an alert when tickets to a popular concert get released.

If you're using IFTTT already, share your stories, or let me know how you could make use of these ideas.

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