In an earlier post I discussed the development of our IFTTT channel and the ways in which it will increases the ability to customize automation of smart home devices like Nest based on who is home. I mentioned that IFTTT is not just for devices, it also allows for interaction between the Range Hub and web services like Gmail, Google Calendar, Spotify, and Twitter. Triggering these services based on devices coming in and out of the home allows you to visualize your home’s data in a lot of cool ways- like enforcing a curfew by getting emails when your teenager comes home at night, or setting up a calendar to keep track of specific activities like how often your dog is walked.
With IFTTT, notifications come in all shapes and sizes, most of which you are familiar with. You can get texts, emails, tweets, and even calls; and with Range you can get any of those when a certain device enters or exits your house. Even without IFTTT, you can always get app notifications and Range keeps a viewable timeline of all your homes activity but for some use-cases you might want to try something different.
Let’s say, for example, you wanted to enforce a teenagers curfew but also want to make sure you wake up right when they get home (so the anger is fresh!). Range will tell IFTTT to give you a call when their smartphone enters the house after a certain time. You can even have a computerized voice tell you to “go yell at ______”.
Range keeps track of all of your homes activity through our timeline feature, which lets you see when all of your devices have come and gone. Google calendar is a great way to take this activity data and put it towards a specific problem in a way you are more familiar with. For instance, a friend of mine (and one of the first Range adopters) was worried that his dog, Holly, is not getting enough exercise. He tries to take her for a walk every morning and every night and has a dog walker come by on the weekdays too. But how much do you really remember about your dog walking habits? To track how often Holly gets exercise, he attached a Range Tag to her leash (you could also use an old Tile or fitness tracker). He set up an IFTTT trigger so that every time the leash leaves the house it creates a google calendar event and every time it comes home it ends the event. After about month he looked at the calendar and realized that Holly was getting more exercise on the weekdays than on the weekend- exactly the opposite of what he assumed. The 15-30 minute walks he was taking her on during the weekends may have seemed long to him but they weren’t consistent, and not even close to the hour long walks she got every weekday from the dog walker. The weekends were also full of days with minimal or no walk time for Holly because well, the weekend can get pretty busy.
My CoFounder recently had a baby and does the same thing using google sheets to make sure she gets enough fresh air and time away from the apartment. By putting a Tile in her stroller, he is able to quantify, to a fairly accurate degree, the amount of time she is in and out of his apartment. See below:
Everyone has a different use-case, for me it was simply a way to show my roommates how much time our girlfriends are spending at our place. It didn’t really serve a purpose but it was interesting to see which of our girlfriends liked us the best….No, I did not win...