Welcome to lesson 5 of our getting started guide. This lesson will focus on advanced topics in XY finder use. We'll cover IFTTT and Zapier which are ways of connecting your finder to the Internet of Things (IoT).
The IoT is a network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings, etc. that can all collect and exchange data. Imagine, for example, that when you wake up in the morning your coffee pot starts to brew a cup, your shower heats up, and your T.V. turns on your favorite morning program all without you having to do anything.
That's the world we're building and our finders are a small, but vital step in a large world of home automation and inter-connectivity.
To do this we are working with IFTTT (an abbreviation of "If This Then That") and Zapier. Both of these services allow you to create automations by creating a triggering event and then specifying an action to happen as a result.
For example: I could say when I get an email (trigger), my finder beeps (action).
Or: When I press the button on my finder (trigger), post a message in Slack saying "I lost my phone again guys! Has anyone seen it?" (action). (Slack is a team focused messaging app that we use in the office.)
Both of these services make it easy to set up their Applets or Zaps (IFTTT and Zapier respectively) and can walk you through the set up so I'm not going to do a walk through of how to set them up.
There are some pros and cons of each service that are worth mentioning.
IFTTT works with over 300 apps, is free, and allows you to build as many applets as you wish. The applets also tends to update faster than Zapier (at the same price point). The only downside is, IFTTT only supports a single trigger-action event, you can't use it to do complex, multi-step automations. IFTTT is generally geared more toward individual users rather than business automation.
Zapier works with over 750 apps, has multiple plans ranging from free to $125 per month (built for teams), update time of Zaps somewhat dependent on plan (it's still pretty quick even on a free account), total number of Zaps allowed dependent on plan. The big upside to paying for Zapier though is you can do those complex, multi-step automations that you can't with IFTTT. Zapier is generally geared toward business automation and large teams.
The IoT is larger than just IFTTT and Zapier though. Other DIY and Maker communities are finding new and innovative ways to use our finders. Like kw123 on the Indigo Domotics forums. He built a plugin that essentially functions like an expanded version of our app that can be used as a home hub using a raspberry pi device and can control a multitude of other devices.
This concludes our look at the IoT and our getting started guides in general. Thank you for reading through these guides, I hope they were of help to you.
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