It's easier than ever to create custom voice controls for the Amazon Echo thanks to new trigger commands from IFTTT, or If This Then That.
I call IFTTT an "API for Dummies" implementation because it ties apps and cloud services together in a way that anyone can use. You create what are called recipes to connect apps, data or actions between two different things. Previously, IFTTT that relied heavily on the Echo's To-Do and Shopping lists, which isn't ideal.
The latest Amazon Echo support - which IFTTT actually calls Amazon Alexa - expands your recipes to work with more third-party devices and services.
Some examples that IFTTT notes, and some I found on my own via its site, include:
- Alexa, trigger find my phone
- Alexa, trigger Next to 72 degrees
- Alexa, trigger lights to blue
- Alexa, trigger unsilence my phone
- Alexa, trigger Smarthings to lock my front door
You get the idea.
With IFTTT's widespread (and growing) support for various objects and cloud functions, your Alexa voice commands are only limited to what works with the service.
To get started, hit the IFTTT website, register for an account (or log in if you already have one) and connect IFTTT to your Amazon account.
Then either browse for Amazon Alexa recipes or walk through the simple process to create your own.
The "if this" part of your recipie will be speaking the "Alexa, trigger...." command, and the "then that" can be any supported services or options.