If you’ve been keeping up with recent tech trends, you no doubt have heard a lot about automation. From self-driving cars to the Internet of Things (IoT), the devices that we use are getting smarter every day. Today, we’re going to talk about bringing that intelligent auto-magic into our everyday lives, to make our environment even smarter.
If you’ve been following our blog, you already know that we are big fans of IFTTT. But, as great as IFTTT already is, we can make it even more amazing by adding triggers to the physical world around us. With these physical triggers, we can set in motion pre-established automations based on extremely precise location information – without so much as unlocking your phone!
One solution that can help make your home, car, office and even phone even smarter is a recent Kickstarter project that blew away its funding goal: the Dot. With the companion app for Android or iOS, these tiny buttons will be a godsend around the home, as they can remind you and your family members or roommates when it’s time to take out the garbage or the milk in the refrigerator is about to go out of date, and even give you a visual cue that you should take your umbrella with you as you’re walking out the door!
The Dot can help you outside the home, as well. By placing it in your car, you can enable the Dot to give you traffic information and load up your favorite music playlist to get you ready for work. And, once you’re at the office, a Dot at your desk can give you a run-down of the tasks you have in front of you that morning, to ensure you’re always a step ahead.
Another bit of technology that can help you customize your world with even greater detail is Near Field Communication (NFC). If you’ve ever ‘tapped’ to pay, whether with Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Samsung Pay, or a credit card, you’ve already used NFC technology. As satisfying as it is to buy a coffee without pulling out your wallet, we assure you NFC is even better as an IFTTT trigger!
As NFC is extremely short-range (it only works over a few centimeters, at best), you’ll probably need to make contact to set things in motion. But, with that simple gesture, you can set all kinds of great, super-specific automations in motion. For instance, when you’re ready to relax and watch a movie, just tap your phone to a chair-side NFC tag, and watch the lights in your living room dim as Netflix opens on your TV. Or, tap the tag on your coffee table to set your lights to ‘reading mode’ while your stereo begins to play your chosen Pandora or Spotify station to get you in the literary mood. If you’re tired of spelling out your Wi-Fi password for guests, just save it to an NFC tag, and your friends will be able to log on with a simple tap!
Unfortunately, iOS users aren’t currently able to use NFC tags, but Android users can smart-tag the world to their hearts’ content! And, since a 10-pack can be bought on Amazon for around $10, you can embed intelligence in every room in your house for the price of a pizza – which, incidentally, you can now order with a tap!