Did you know there is a way to integrate your fitness tracker or other health gadget with a smart home using a system called if-this-then-that (IFTTT). This stands for a smart home set-up that can help make your life easier by automating certain tasks.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Before starting, it is important to give a brief overview of what IFTTT can do. Created some ten years ago, this is a free web-based service that people use to create chains of simple conditional statements, called applets. An applet is triggered by changes that occur within other web services. IFTTT users create about 20 million “recipes” each and every day.
For example, if you were to have your Fitbit on in the morning, your smart home could sense that you are waking up and automatically get the coffee machine running, all without you lifting a finger. Or how about automatically turning on the lights in your room when you wake up? Perhaps you would like a notification to go to bed early when your Fitbit notices low sleep levels? Or our favorite – get an insulting phone call if your daily step goal is not achieved by 10:30PM!
The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. You can check out Fitbit’s page on IFTTT. There are numerous triggers and actions to choose from.
But don’t worry if you don’t have a Fitbit. A range of devices are supported. Here are a few more ideas to get you started:
Apple Watch – Yes, you can connect the most popular smartwatch in the world to IFTTT. How about waking up to a new Apple Watch face every day? Or getting a rain alert on your watch.
Moodo – Scents have an amazing effect on your brain and are a powerful way to start and end your day. Soothing lavender and chamomile help you relax and fall asleep, while scents like citrus energize you in the morning and eucalyptus boosts productivity. Jump-start your day by asking your assistant to use your smart home fragrance diffuser “when you wake up in the morning.”
Withings Sleep – This is a sleep sensing and home automation pad that slides under your mattress. How about choosing – “Adjust the room temperature to be optimal for sleeping when I get into bed.” Or even better – “Mute my phone when I get into bed”.
Pavlok – Pavlok assists you in breaking bad habits through sending you a sensation in the form of a zap, vibration or beep – “If I don’t hit my goals on my Fitbit for steps, zap me!” Ouch… That should get you moving!
Strava – The social network for athletes! Turn on Applets to automatically track your activities – “Sync weight measurements to Strava.”
Apple Health – The iPhones’s Health app consolidates health data from a variety of apps to track progress in one place – “Automatically sync your weight from your Withings scales” or “Automatically sync your sleep readings from Fitbit”.
Misfit – This wearable tracks your sleep while also inspiring you to live a healthier, more active life – “Track your activity in Google Calendar.” If you are the owner of the Mistfit Flash, you can use it as a smart button. A single, double, triple or long press can all be used to run different Applets.
Air by Propeller – Propeller designs products to help improve asthma control – “Get a Facebook message when asthma conditions in your area change.”
Beeminder – The daily encourager. This tool helps you to progress towards your goals by sending you specific reminders – “Force yourself to go to the gym.”
Whistle – You can even bug your roommate to give your dog a walk if your pup hasn’t been active enough during the day – “send a text to my roommate when my dog hasn’t met their goal by 5:00pm.”
You don’t need to be a tech junkie to create your own IFTTT recipe or download an applet. To get started, head over to the IFTTT website and do an applet search for your health gizmo. Then simply follow instructions on how to integrate it with your smart home.
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