If this, then that: BMW cars connect to IFTTT service
Effective January 19, BMW has its own access section at the IFTT website. BMW users can access this section via a PC, a tablet, a smartphone – or via the ConnectedDrive infotainment system in the car. This way, the IFTTT service is integrated into into BMW vehicles.
IFTTT is a free-of-charge service which allows hundreds of web applications and intelligent devices on the Internet of Things to be linked together. The acronym stands for “If This, Then That”. This short expression describes well the way IFTTT works: Users can create statements known as “Recipes”, which allow them to combine “Triggers” with associated “Actions”. They can select from over 260 different services, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Drive, e-mail and SMS, and also connect with intelligent smart-home devices from the likes of Philips’ Hue, Google’s Nest and Netatmo. IFTTT Recipes allow users to link up their car with these services as they wish. At the car side, the connection is established via a widget on the ConnectedDrive surface.
For example, the outside lighting of their home can be switched on automatically when their BMW approaches it. It also allows the garage door to be opened and the house’s heating or air conditioning to be activated. The user’s family can be informed when the car is close to a certain location, to let them know when one of the children is being picked up from school, for example. And if the car is parked, its location can be stored as a Google Maps link to remind the owner where it is.
The carmaker has activated the respective channel (BMW Labs Channel) on the IFTT website. The channel is open to the public – interested users can set up recipes and test the service for free. The BMW Labs widget which links to the service can be selected in the split-screen menu of the BMW Control Display. To use the widget, the car has to be specified with the Navigation system Professional and ConnectedDrive Services with BMW Online, and the user needs to have an account with IFTTT. Initial testing of BMW Labs and IFTTT has been carried out in the USA, England, France, Spain, Germany and Australia using an English beta version.
Users can find further information by visiting the BMW Labs website https://labs.bmw.com.