Logitech Harmony, IFTTT cook up recipes for smart homes

Home automation, or to be more exact, smart appliances, are growing in number, but each one of those are virtual islands of their own, unless said islands happen to be owned by a single company. Logitech's Harmony system tries to make these disparate voices sing well together but it can definitely use a bit of smarts as well. And what better way to add some smart thinking into anything than by tying it up with IFTTT to automate even the simplest of things, like turning down the volume of your TV or entertainment system when you get a call.

IFTTT has grown to be a very popular platform for connecting different, and sometimes even totally unrelated, services together, from sending a tweet as an SMS to friends who don't use Twitter, to automatically saving email attachments to Dropbox, to creating an Evernote journal entry based on your daily Calendar entries. IFTTT works through recipes and takes a cue from computer programming as indicated by its name: IF This Then That. An event or condition acts as a trigger that will initiate some action based on that trigger. Sounds like a great system for home automation, right?

By partnering with IFTTT, Logitech is able to really emphasize on the "automation" part of home automation. Instead of having to manually trigger or, at the very least, schedule some actions for Harmony and connected appliances, users can simply use an event or even a tweet to start or stop an action, even from afar. Start the air conditioner when you enter a location or turn off the lights when you leave your home zone. Send an SMS or use a Twitter hashtag to make sure the laundry's done by the time you get back. Or even simply start playing your favorite morning tunes the moment you wake up.

This new ability becomes even more powerful when you take into account the new Activity feature that Logitech added to Harmony last month. Instead of individually setting each individual appliance or device, you can create activities that will control them all at once, depending on the context. And these activities are all available for IFTTT to use as well.

Logitech is also expanding Harmony in other ways. It has partnered with Icontrol Networks, a networking platform that not only connects in-home devices together but also connects them with cloud services. With this team up, Logitech will be able to connect to more devices that it already has in its list via Icontrol's ecosystem.

SOURCE: Logitech