Manufacturers can join the IFTTT developer program, add a Channel for their device and then create "Triggers" and "Actions" for their Channel. End-users can then leverage these to allow integration with other Channels using simple connections called "Recipes".
Recipes are split into two types: "DO" and "IF".
A DO Recipe runs with a simple tap on an icon in an App on your smartphone or tablet and uses an Action from a Channel to actually DO something (get it?)
An IF Recipe runs automatically in the background and consists of both a Trigger and an Action and is literally where the IFTTT name comes from - If This (Trigger) Then That (Action).
By using IFTTT in your Home Automation system you can bring together devices that would otherwise be unable to be used together - for example Philips Hue, Honeywell evohome, GreenIQ, Nest, Netatmo and many more!
In it's early days the IFTTT platform could be unreliable with high latency causing things to happen more slowly than you'd expect - nobody wants to be waiting for more than a few seconds for a light to turn on in response to movement being detected!
Most IF Recipes check for new Trigger data every 15 minutes but some run even faster and happen in near real-time. Now that the technology has matured and stabilised, IFTTT is becoming an acceptable way to link together disparate systems.
By opting for IFTTT instead of implementing direct support for third-party systems, manufacturers can avoid lengthy development times, difficult to use APIs and having to add lots of bespoke code to support different technologies. IFTTT allows them to simply add the Triggers and Actions for their own devices, so they don't need to worry about the "glue" that joins everything together!
As an end-user this means that writing logic with the IFTTT platform is simply a case of clicking a few icons to select some pre-defined Recipes and filling in a few fields. This allows you to create flexible interactions in an easy and consistent fashion - something that would likely take much longer if you were having to write complex scripts or programs to achieve the same result.
At Vesternet we believe that IFTTT represents a significant step in bringing Home Automation to the mass market and we'll be focusing more on this exciting area in the coming months. In the meantime you can easily see which of the products that Vesternet sell support IFTTT by looking for the IFTTT logo in the search results and on the product pages, or by simply visiting our category of IFTTT supported products here.