IFTTT works by allowing users to create “recipes” that combine a trigger with an action. Automatic’s triggers include turning the ignition on or off, location, the check engine light and completion of a trip. While the service is bound to have some overlap with IFTTT’s new Location channel, it does add lots of potential for some neat interactions.
Sample recipes include emailing your mechanic when your check engine light comes on, automatically logging work trip mileage in a Google spreadsheet and notifying friends when you leave or arrive.
The $100 Automatic device plugs into the port on your car that mechanics use to monitor the vehicle’s status and perform smog checks. It then syncs with your phone in order to show you the data and offer suggestions on how to improve your driving efficiency.
“Originally, we started out with this idea that connectivity would change the way we use our cars,” Automatic Chief Product Officer Ljuba Miljkovic said in an interview. “Our cars are the most powerful computers that we have and yet they’re not connected to the internet.”
The IFTTT integration fits with Automatic’s goal to open up the driving experience to other connected services and products that we use.
“Your car is just another piece of technology that you can hook up with anything else that you do online,” Miljkovic added.
With IFTTT, you can also create a link between your car actions and connected home products. For instance, you could have lights turn on when you get home, or have the light in your garage change colors depending on the health of your car.
For now, Automatic’s IFTTT channel only provides triggers, so you won’t be able to start your car every time someone tweets at you, but maybe someday you can have your car come pick you as soon as you lock your door.
Image credit: Automatic