IFTTT is a web service that I use a lot and in fact often determines whether other gadgets are worth purchasing or not, such is it's capabilities!

The guys at IFTTT say it's supposed to be pronounced IFT as in GIFT, but most users affectionately tend to call it IF TUH TUH TUH... But why is it called this anyway? Quite simply it's because it's named after what it does - IF This Then That. So if this happens then go off and do that.

For both sides of the "Recipe" there are lots of "Channels", (of which there are 77 currently - IFTTT channels), which have various actions and triggers that form the ingredients of the recipes.

So a recipe could be as simple as "If I favourite a Tweet on Twitter, then post that Tweet to my Facebook Status" or it can be as complex as "If the Weather forecast for my area indicates rain starting, then email me to say get the washing in". As you can imagine with 77 channels that can form the "IF" or the "THAT" sides of the recipes then you are only limited by your imagination as to what you can achieve.

Where IFTTT comes into it's own and as I alluded to at the start of this post, is that various bits of hardware can be controlled with the recipes. The main piece of hardware that I currently use with these recipes are my Belkin WEMO switches, as discussed in an earlier post. I have 2 switches currently - 1 attached to lighting in my study and 1 in the living room connected to a sidelamp. When you set up the WEMO channel with IFTTT it's intelligent enough to differentiate between the 2 switches and so I can set different triggers for each switch. The most obvious recipe is for the living room sidelamp which has recipes setup to turn it on at sunset and another to turn it off automatically at a predefined bedtime. Notice the soft trigger of "Sunset", obviously this changes every day but the IFTTT weather channel can track this for you.

The study switch also turns on and off at lunchtime to remind me to take a break, as it's easy to loose track of time when working from home.  This shows that you can use literally anything as a trigger. I could perhaps setup a recipe that flashes the lights when a certain stock price starts to change, or if it's raining, or if a file arrives in my dropbox, or or or or or or or or or!! There are other bits of hardware from Belkin that will work with IFTTT, and also other manufacturers such as the Philips Hue or Blink(1) that are available that will respond to IFTTT recipes. I'm sure that more bits of hardware will use IFTTT as a backbone of their hardware's capabilities soon.

Go on, go and have a play with IFTTT...! 

More information is available at the IFTTT WTF page...