Make Magazine has an article on the newly added “Maker” channel on IFTTT. For those who haven’t heard of it IFTTT (If This, Then That) is a company that offers a web-based interface that lets users build simple control scripts for supporting the Internet of Things and other web-based services. The scripts are all very simple, consisting of defining a triggering event (the “if” clause) and an action that should then be taken (the “then that”). It builds from APIs that many services offer. You can define some parameters in some of the scripts. So you can, for example, set up a “recipe” (as IFTTT calls them) that says “if someone tags me on Facebook, then turn my Phillips Hue light red.” Or If the weather report for tomorrow includes rain, then send a tweet.”
Users who create recipes can share them with other IFTTT users. However, until now, the systems that can trigger recipes, or that can be sent action responses, were limited to pre-existing commercial services that IFTTT had set up interfaces with (e.g., Dropbox, Gmail, Amazon Echo, WeMO, etc.). While this list is growing, if you were a Maker and wanted to build your own triggering device, or have a custom device respond, you were out of luck. That’s changed now with the new Maker channel. You can use basically anything that can send or respond to Restful URL calls to set up your own channels. Personally, I’ve found IFTTT to be a fascinating concept, but I was underwhelmed by what I’ve seen so far in terms of scripts that would be useful to me, or even fun to play with. The new Maker channel may change that.