WTF is IFTTT?
I’ve been aware of IFTTT (If This Then That) for a number of years, however its only recently that I’ve really taken the time to look into this and have a play. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG!?
I’m now geekily obsessed with this technology, so thought I’d share what I’ve learnt and why you really need to start taking an interest in connecting technology. I genuinely believe that this field will dominate our lives in the next few years.
What is IFTTT?
In layman’s terms, IFTTT is a service that allows you to connect various apps that aren’t natively designed to work together.
The service allows you to programme apps to interact with each other with no coding knowledge so ‘If App X Does This, App Y Does That.’ (Thus the name).
Currently there is a relatively small number of apps in the infrastructure that are focused on the world of Social, Voice, Home Connectivity and Wearables, however this list is growing quickly and also becoming more accessible to the early majority.
What does IFTTT look like?
The limits of what is possible in IFTTT is where I’m most excited. Established in 2010, the initial connectivity was restricted to simple notifications, however this has more recently evolved into automated tasks such as:
- When I leave work my GPS will tell my Hive App to turn the heating on.
- When my Fitbit records my pace dropping on a run, my Spotify app plays more upbeat songs from a specific playlist.
- When I’ve slept badly the previous night my alarm will set slightly later.
- When I say “OK Google, turn lights on” my Philips Hue app is activated.
Basically a huge list of playful possibilities that will enhance our day to day lives.
On the current IFTTT platform there is a number of predefined ‘Applets’ that you can simply connect to (Applets are basically rules) or alternately you can simply create your own.
For very specific ‘Custom’ Applets, you will need coding ability, however there are plenty of opportunities to be creative and automate your lifestyle the way you want it.
How to get started
Its very simple to start using IFTTT. Just download the app (iOS / Android) or visit www.ifttt.com and create an account.
Once logged in, just connect any apps you own i.e. Spotify, Facebook, Philips Hue, Google Hub and start playing.
There are recommended favourites that you can easily connect to, or simply create your own using the ‘New Applet’ functionality.
Predicted future of IFTTT
Every major manufacturer is now adapting their goods to connect with users’ personal devices. Whether its cars, fridges, hoovers or house security, we all now have a huge amount of power to control the environment around us. IFTTT is at the beginning of truly customising our lifestyles in a way that was previously inconceivable, so I only see this growing further and becoming absolute mainstream in the next 10 years. I’m aware of more powerful / flexible systems available in the marketplace aimed at infrastructure, so I’m definitely keen to investigate the possibilities further.
Where I see the big opportunity for agencies is around the introduction of retail and service-based businesses to the world of IFTTT and connectivity. Dominos has recently announced its involvement which is based around its famous Pizza Tracker. The predefined Applets include:
- Get a phone call or text when your order is ready for collection.
- Automatically turn on your porch light when your order is out for delivery.
Dominos is clearly demonstrating its strength in the early adoption of this tech, but I think it also shows a great understanding of its audience. I’m sceptical that its going to drive sales immediately, however as IFTTT becomes more integrated then it will start to affect buyers’ decisions on which brands they choose.
If you’re interested in having a natter about IFTTT or Connectivity, you can drop us a line at helloLeeds@homeagency.co.uk or call us on 0844 576 8976.