Monday, September 4, 2017

IFTTT 4 - send a notification to my phone

This is the last in a 4 part story. And I urge you to read the previous stories before you go on if you did not have done so yet.

First tutorial was a general introduction to IFTTT Click here to read it.
Second tutorial was how to activate the Maker Channel on IFTTT so you can trigger it with an ESP8266. Click here to read the second tutorial.
Third tutorial tells how to attach a motion-sensor (PIR) to an ESP8266 and trigger IFTTT to publish a Tweet when someone entered your room. Here you can find that tutorial.
In this last story I am going to show you how you can send a notification to your phone if someone entered your room.

So that third story showed you how you can publish a tweet when someone entered your room. That worked flawlessly however as you can see from the screenshot Twitter will clutter up in a hurry when loads of motions are detected. And that's no fun. You might not determine anymore which is which. Besides that, you will have to have Twitter installed and active on your smart-phone to get the messages. And that might not always be the case. So let's see if we can get a more significant notice.


IFTTT has evolved and looks now more as APP's on your phone. But do not be put off basically it is just the same. There is one change that is significant: the maker channel is now called Wehooks and the icon has changed into:

So everywhere in this story where the name Maker Channel is used change it into webhooks.

We are going to make a new recipe in IFTTT for this purpose.

So first log in at IFTTT (  like I showed you in the previous story you can read by clicking here.

First choose to make a new recipe.

Choose the Maker channel just like we did in the previous story. The difference is that you are already connected to the channel so you already have a key.

Choose the trigger just like last time. There is only 1 trigger for the Maker channel and that is "receive a web request"

Now give the trigger a name. Let's keep it easy. Last time we choose Motion Detected so call this trigger Motion detected 2. Chose create trigger and on to the next screen.

Choose the action channel for the "THAT" function and chose "If Notifications"

Here also we only have 1 choice for the action that follows and that is "Send a notification"

Complete the action by filling in an appropriate text that is going to be send. Just like last time I included the time stamp in the notification.

In this last step you can see the complete action scheme:
If "maker event Notion detected 2" then Send a notification.
Chose for create recipe.

That's it.

Now make sure that you have installed IFTTT on your smart-phone and as soon as movement is detected in your room you will see the led on your phone blink and you will here a notification sound. On the primary screen on your phone you will see in the upper-left corner that there was an "IF" message.

Now open the notification screen on your phone and you can see what the fuzz is all around.

The difference with the previous project is that this notification will only be send to YOUR phone. There is no cluttering up in Twitter anymore.
The drawback is that if you wipe the notification away there is no prove that something happened. In the previous project you would have prove to show that someone was in your room. And that prove would stay safely on Twitter for as long as you like. So chose which option is best for you. However you can instruct IFTTT to do both !!! Send a message to your phone and post a Tweet. Experiment and I am sure you will figure out how to do that with IFTTT.

Amazing isn't it. A two dollar device like the ESP-8266 is capable of sending a notification around the globe so you will know that some-one was in your room. And I am sure you can find lots of other purposes for this technique too. A few ideas come directly to my mind:
- Send a notification when someone opens the fridge door
- Send a notification when someone is at your front door
- Send a notification with the rain-sensor (read how to make one here)

Till next time
Have fun

Luc Volders