I’m a happy new Sense-ite, finally having the breaker installed 2 days ago, this after looking at the thing sat on my kitchen table for the last month and a half. I’m still in the phase which I suspect everyone goes through where you check the still vacant device list every term minutes, and literally acting like I won the lottery when the first detection is made!
I’m still learning the system, but I’ve got the basics down pretty well. See, I’m a Smart Home Automation hack, which I define as a person who automates anything and everything, just because, has 400 apps on their phone to control them all, and tries to hang with the no kidding legit folks who are able to customize their setup any way they want by a writing the code themselves. I’m pretty sure my mom dropped me multiple times on my head, right in the spot that handles learning languages and using them. I tried, but even with the Java Groovy name which made the inaccurate assumption meant “simple” and “intuitive”, but it just ain’t happenin’!
So as a result of that lack of brain power, I have developed a more significant reliance on third party apps which are designed to enable the integration of what proprietary litigation delivered to the world, incompatible apps and devices. I call these tools “bridge apps”, because it sounds like I’m a software guru, and I like big bridges.
The bridge apps I rely on mostly are Tasker, Google Home, and If This Than That, or as it’s colloquially known, IFTTT.
Tasker is mostly used for automating functions and integrating apps on your phone, however can be extended beyond that. If you’ve never tried it and you have an Android phone, it’s worth looking at. It is without a doubt the most powerful app available.
Google Home is Google Home. It offers a lackluster set of bridge functionality, but is being better and better.
Now, IFTTT is a VERY useful bridge app, is extremely intuitive, and adds new brands to their already huge list every week. There is a cost to this intuitive design though, in that you’re far more limited in terms of how complex an automation sequence you can design. There are ways to work around that, but they are quite unintuative.
I was actually looking forward to all the different capabilities I would gain once I got my Sense up and running. But when I went into the IFTTT app after linking the accounts, that excitement quickly evaporated leaving only the bitter taste of disappointment.
Sense programmers, think of all the awesome, next level, game changing capabilites that people gain by installing your system. Think of how your system actually makes a Smart House live up to its name. You guys enable home owners to made a giant leap towards Starship Enterprise level automation!
All that work, all that capability, all that work, yet when it was time to multiply the awesome to monumental levels by enabling IFTTT funtionality, all you can muster is “If so thing turns on” or “if something turns off” triggers!?!?
I was expecting SOOO much more, and you guys are fully capable of doing it. I want options like “if this cycles X times in Y minutes” and "if x device runs longer than Y minutes in a day /week /fortnight), and “of device Y is inactive for X Hours /days /millenia” type triggers! On and off triggers are amateur hour Bush League triggers. If you really think about it, it could really push the entire smart home industry forward a notch or two.
Are you guys working this type of stuff? Please say yes so I can sleep at night!!