The OnHub is an odd and unexpected surprise from Google. While it has a very strong resemblance to Amazon’s Echo, OnHub is primarily a wireless router. It’s a smart router, though, allowing for more control and information via a smartphone. It is also meant to be the hub of Google’s smart home ambitions. But there are only so many things you can do with a router, right? Google is now challenging that perception by opening up OnHub to popular web platform IFTTT, allowing almost anything to be done with the router.
IFTTT is both simple and complex to comprehend. It is powerful programming simplified into a single equation, allowing users to tie devices and services together into what it calls a “recipe”. The basic formula is “if this happens, then do that action.” Both the “this happens” and “that action” can almost be any thing and any combination, as long as IFTTT has support for it.
With the OnHub, the IFTTT recipes naturally revolve around the router’s Internet connections. On the one hand, the OnHub can be the trigger, like sending you an email whenever a device joins or leaves the OnHub network, perfect for monitoring kids and family members. On the other hand, the router can also be the target of actions, like if a connected Nest Cam detects movement, OnHub can be set to prioritize that connection.
With IFTTT, the real limits are only your imagination and the services that IFTTT directly supports. More enterprising users, however, have also been able to expand that through other services. Right now, there are already dozens of recipes on IFTTT for the OnHub router and it will be interesting to see if this new power will make the OnHub more interesting to tech-savvy home owners.
You know who else is interested? Google! It is looking for the most creative IFTTT recipe suggestions and will reward those with a bag of gadget goodies, including, of course, a new OnHub.