IFTTT – The smart web service

IFTTT – pronounced “ift” as in the word “gift” – is an acronym that stands for *“If This Then That”*. IFTTT is a free web service that can be accessed at “ifttt.com”. The service is currently only available in English.

Users of IFTTT can create conditional instructions that work in a similar way to scenarios in the innogy SmartHome app: Following the same principle as a smoke alarm that sounds when smoke is detected, or a light that switches on at sunset, these instructions trigger a specific action in response to a defined event.

There is one key difference between IFTTT and smart home scenarios: IFTTT can trigger actions provided by web services outside of the smart home. For example, "alarm chains" can be set up when someone else's emails arrive in your Gmail mailbox or when the weather service predicts a storm.

This is how IFTTT works

IFTTT is a system that simply waits for a “trigger” (If This) and then initiates a specific action in response to this trigger (Then That). If a new comment is added to your Wordpress or Facebook page (trigger), for example the LED lighting integrated in your smart home could be set to flash three times (action).

Your central control system communicates with IFTTT via a secure internet connection (SSL). IFTTT relies solely on encoded data to pass information on the trigger to your smart home. The service does not transfer any personal data (with the exception of login data for web services), and it does not have access to your device settings and scenarios or the administrator settings of your smart home.

Applets and Services

IFTTT Services

The IFTTT platform offers both Applets and Services. The difference? Applets generally include both triggers and actions, so require minimal configuration before they are activated.

Services also use defined actions, but they can be combined with any trigger from the countless options available via the IFTTT platform – from calendar triggers (e.g. events) and weather reports to email-specific and location-specific actions to receiving a notification when the International Space Station passes over your house. When an action from the Service section is combined with a trigger, an Applet is created.

Integrate IFTTT into your SmartHome

If you want to use IFTTT in your smart home, you will need to grant the web service permission to access your central control system. For security reasons, we recommend that you create a joint user account for this purpose. To do so, proceed as follows:

  1. Open the SmartHome app (on your smart phone/tablet/browser)
  2. Select “NEW CUSTOMER”
  3. Complete the form in as much detail as you wish; the important fields are the USER NAME (e.g. IFTTT), PASSWORD and an EMAIL ADDRESS that you have access to
  4. Submit the form
  5. Confirm your registration via the link sent by email
  6. Log into the SmartHome app using YOUR user name
  7. In your user account, open the “Settings” menu
  8. Click/tap on the plus sign
  9. Enter the name of the joint user (e.g. IFTTT)
  10. Leave the preconfigured access rights as they are (both boxes ticked)
  11. Click/tap on INVITE USER
  12. Browse to the IFTTT website (ifttt.com)
  13. In the *“Enter your email”* field, enter the email address you provided for the joint user
  14. Enter the word “innogy” in the *“Search”* box
  15. Select an existing Applet or create a new one by clicking on *“New Applet”* (further instructions below)
  16. Grant permission to access your smart home central control system
  17. On the login screen of your smart home central control system, enter the login information for the IFTTT user account

You can now use the innogy IFTTT Services in your smart home!

innogy Services

On the IFTTT platform, innogy offers a number of customisable Services. Currently, the system allows you to manipulate statuses in your smart home; you can switch the change of status initiated by “triggers” from “Yes” to “No” and vice versa.

It is not currently possible to control smart home appliances directly, but you can use simple scenarios to achieve the same effect: Just set status changes in your smart home as “triggers” for appliance actions!

The innogy *Services* currently available include:

 

IFTTT Holyday

Today is a public holiday! Let me sleep in (Heute ist ein Feiertag! Lass mich schlafen)

Description

This service can be used, for example, to disconnect a radio alarm clock connected to a pluggable switch from the mains on a public holiday.

Function

The service sets a freely definable status (such as “Public holiday”) to the value “Yes”.

Prerequisites

  • Google Account
  • Google Calendar with the relevant local public holidays listed
  • Status – e.g. Public holiday – set to “No”
  • A scenario linked to the status which triggers an action in a smart home appliance when the status is set to “Yes” (e.g. switching off a pluggable switch)
IFTTT Urlaubsende Vacation ends! Let innogy SmartHome know that my vacation is over (Der Urlaub is zu Ende! Lasse innogy SmartHome wissen, dass mein Urlaub vorbei ist)

Description

This service can be used, for example, to increase the heating temperature, switch on the light or deactivate the alarm system.

Function

The service sets a freely definable status (such as “Vacation”, which must already exist in the smart home system) to the value “No”.

Prerequisites

  • Google Account
  • Google Calendar with an event entitled “Vacation ends”
  • Status – e.g. Vacation – set to “Yes”
A scenario linked to the status which triggers an action in a smart home appliance when the status is set to “No” (e.g. increasing the heating temperature or switching on a pluggable switch)
IFTTT Sturmwarnung Tell innogy SmartHome that it’s stormy! (Sage innogy SmartHome, dass es stürmisch ist!)

Description

In the event of a storm warning, this service can detect any open windows and automatically retract any awnings.

Function

The service sets a freely definable status (such as “Storm warning”) to the value “Yes” for six hours.

Prerequisites

  • Status – e.g. Storm warning – set to “No”
  • A scenario linked to the status which triggers an action in a smart home appliance when the status is set to “Yes” (e.g. retracting the awning)
IFTTT Button Widget I’m home! Use the Button widget to notify innogy SmartHome (Ich bin zu Hause! Verwenden Sie das Button-Widget, um innogy SmartHome zu benachrichtigen)

Description

Set the “Home” status to “Yes” via a smart phone button.

Function

Pressing a button on the smart phone sets the Home status to “Yes”.

Prerequisite

  • Button Widget from IFTTT. When the innogy Applet is installed, the Button Widget is also installed automatically. However, it may still need to be manually placed in the Widget overview.

 

Practical example

This deliberately simple example shows how you can control your smart home by receiving emails. You can adjust the response as you wish – feel free to experiment…

Description

Emails from certain people (VIPs) automatically switch on a specific light.

Function

When an email from a previously defined address arrives in your Gmail inbox, the value of a status is set to “Yes”. In response, the change in status switches on a light in your smart home via a linked scenario.

Prerequisites

  • IFTTT Account
  • Gmail Account
  • Gmail Applet “Get a notification when you get an email from a specific person” (one Applet for each individual VIP)
  • One status for each individual VIP, e.g. “Important email from Leo” and “Important email from Lisa”
  • A scenario that switches appliances on and off depending on the status

Procedure

Open the Applet on the IFTTT platform https://ifttt.com/applets/ZqxgtfTM-get-a-notification-when-you-get-an-email-from-a-specific-person. Turn on the Applet, enter the email address of the VIP on the next screen and then press “Save”.

Create a status for each individual VIP in your SmartHome app.

Define separate scenarios for each individual VIP or a single scenario that applies to all VIPs.

Explanation of this scenario:

If

the status of two devices (emails from Leo or Lisa) is set to YES

then

switch the fairy lights on.