Want to turn your house lights off by turning on your car? BMW's new integration with the IFTTT service could allow personalized connections just like that.
Like many automakers, BMW is hard at work testing and implementing new technology applications in the cabins of its cars through its BMW ConnectedDrive services. For some additional help validating and improving new programs still under development, BMW is reaching out to customers through a new BMW Labs portal that just launched on January 19.
If you're comfortable with being a guinea pig for new services, that according to BMW "may break occasionally," you have the opportunity to jump into the fire right now. The IFTTT integration is the first feature available through BMW Labs, which is a free service that allows users to link applications and smart devices together by creating "Recipes," which are made up of "Triggers" that carry out chosen "Actions." More than 260 services such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Drive and email are selectable, and IFTTT can also link up with smart home devices such as Philips Hue, Nest and Netatmo.
BMW is the first carmaker to offer IFTTT services, which allows users to do things such as automatically open home garage doors as they pull their car up in the driveway, or send a message to a spouse when picking up the kids from school. For the situations above, the car pulling up into the driveway or picking up the kids from school serve as the triggers that respectively cause the garage door to open or a message to go out to a spouse as part of a IFTTT formula set up by the user.
Parked in a large lot and worried about finding your car later on? Store the exact location of your BMW as a Google Maps link for reference later. Don't like walking into a pitch black house at night? Set your interior home lights to automatically turn on when you park your BMW in the garage. Are you suspicious about your teenage son driving the BMW quicker than he should be? If so, have an alert sent to you the moment the car surpasses a certain speed to have all the ammunition you need to ground him for a week or two. All of this is capable through IFTTT.
To use the BMW Labs widget and have access to testing the latest services the company has in development, vehicles need to be equipped with navigation and ConnectedDrive Services with BMW Online. For IFTTT, users need to have an account allowing them access to the BMW Labs channel on the IFTTT website where they can build their own collection of Recipes.