One of the biggest things in technology in recent years has been the rise of smartwatches. Products such as the Apple Watch and Moto 360 are often promoted as fitness devices. But did you know that they can also be used to make your home more automated?
Thanks to Do apps from If This Then That (IFTTT), it’s possible to control smart things such as lights, thermostats, and motion detectors from your wrist.
What Is IFTTT?
First introduced in 2011, the free web-based IFTTT service allows everyday users to create chains of statements, called “recipes,” which are triggered based on changes to other Web services such as Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
What You Need
You can add or create recipes using the IF by IFTTT app. Here, however, our focus is on the DO Button by IFTTT app, since this is where smart watch compatibility takes place. This app is found on the App Store and through Google Play. Be sure that your smart watch is compatible with either of these stores.
For iOS users, the choice, of course, is the Apple Watch. For Android users, be sure that your watch is compatible with Android Wear. These would include current-generation watches including LG Watch Urbane, Moto 360, Huawei Watch, Fossil Q Founder, and ASUS ZenWatch 2.
How to Do It
For our discussion, we’ll concentrate on iOS and the Apple Watch. However, the steps presented here also work with Android Wear with some minor differences.
To find a recipe, go into the DO app on your iPhone. Click on the recipe icon at the bottom right of the screen. Below the “My Recipes” text, select the “+” button. This step brings up the “Add a Recipe” page, organized by Collections, Recommended, and Channels. You can also use the search icon for a broader recipe search.
Now it’s time to have some fun with our wrists.
Awesome Things You Can Do With Your Smartwatch
Control Your Lights
There are some DO recipes already available for Philips Hue users. These include: Toggle Hue lights On/Off, Dim down the lights, and Blink your lights. To add these to your list of recipes, simply click on them and follow the directions. Each will require access to your Philips Hue account. You’ll also need to specify the lights controlled by the recipe. For example, all lights or only individual ones.
Once completing the directions, the recipe becomes available on the DO app on your watch.
Want to create a new DO recipe? Find Philips Hue under Channels and then click “Create a New Recipe.” Pick from among nine actions including Turn on lights, Change color, and Change to a random color.
Other lighting services are also available on the DO app, including LIFX and WeBo.
Send Those Tweets
Rightly or wrongly, many of us feel we must always be in contact with the outside world. Reddit, Tumblr, and Twitter are just three of the services we use to connect with the world. Not surprisingly, we may perform social tasks by tapping on the screen on our smartwatch.
Through the DO app, we can perform many of these tasks, including:
- Tweet your location
- Send a tweet
- Send a reminder to yourself via DM
- Publish a map of your location
- Submit a new text post
Change The Temperature
Google Nest is one of the most popular smart thermostats on the market. It’s also a popular choice for IFTTT users. In the DO app, you can automate many tasks including “Set your Nest thermostat to …,” “Turn on the fan for 15mins,” and “Quickly set your thermostat to 70 degrees.”
Other smart thermostats that work with the DO app include ecobee, Honeywell, and IntesisHome.
Home Security for the 21st Century
Current-generation web cameras have become an essential tool in home security. For as little as $100, you can install video monitoring, which you can view from your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Many of these systems are controllable via a smartwatch, including the Camio, Homeboy, and Myfox Security.
Sample tasks you may try on your smartwatch include:
- Arm your security system
- Sound an alarm
- Disable your system
- Start recording for your cameras
DO the Laundry From Your Watch
Before heading to work, many people like to load and run their washer or dryer so that they have clean clothes when they return. Unfortunately, in their rush out the door, they may sometimes forget to turn on the appliance. If you own a smart device, such as ones by GE and Samsung, you can perform these steps on your smartwatch.
For example, you can “finish wash cycle,” “start wash cycle,” “pause wash cycle,” and “extend your dryer tumble.”
Even better: You can also clean your home from anywhere in the world from your watch thanks to the Samsung Robot Vacuum.
Even More to Try
With Garageio, you can automate up to three garage doors in a few simple steps for as little as $200. These tools allow you to control your doors from anywhere in the world.
Products like GreenIQ allow you to create smart gardens. With only a smart device, you can schedule irrigation based on current and forecast weather, thereby saving outdoor water consumption.
With the DO app, you can perform tasks via your smartwatch, including:
- Start irrigation
- Stop irrigation
- Lighting on
The Sky Is the Limit
There are already plenty of recipes to try on the DO app from IFTTT. However, we expect to see much more added in the coming months since many of the recipes on the general IFTTT app have yet to arrive on the DO app. Hence, they can not yet work on smartwatches. Therefore, check back often for updates.
Which smart things do you control from your smartwatch?