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IFTTT and Uber Open Up a New Category of Automation Magic

August 16, 2017 / Global

IFTTT empowers people to do more with the services they love. Using Applets (simple automated statements that are triggered by changes in other web services), IFTTT creates new connections of all types. These connections can, for example, automate a suite of simple life tasks or transform how someone interacts with and controls their home, including adjusting the thermostat or lighting. IFTTT works with over 500 apps, services, and devices, such as Facebook, Twitter, Philips Hue, Dropbox, Google, Nest, Fitbit, BMW, and Slack. Millions of people use IFTTT, and over a billion Applets are run every month.

Uber is a popular requested service by IFTTT’s users — not only across their current user base, but also with commuters, travelers, and many other potential customer segments. Many of IFTTT’s customers also live in urban environments where owning a car isn’t necessary, and Uber has become a convenient option. For both reasons, IFTTT was interested in creating an Uber integration that enhances the ride experience for these passengers.

Lights, Thermostat, Automation!

IFTTT’s Uber service leverages the Trip Experiences API to run events when the ride is arriving, starting, and completed. Uber riders authenticate with the IFTTT application, so IFTTT can use webhooks to get certain data such as new trips, state changes, and destination. What really took the API integration to the next level was the ability to customize the applet experiences using the contextual data provided by the trip alias. With aliases, riders can run specific Applets for when they’re heading to or from their home or work via a trip requested by Uber. The combined trip data means the service is incredibly flexible, and makes it easy to create practical Applets. The most popular Uber Applets launched thus far are:

+ Blink your lights when your Uber is arriving

+ Turn off your lights when you leave home in an Uber

+ Log your completed rides in Google Calendar

+ When you’re on your way home, set your Nest thermostat

+ Log your completed Uber trips in a Google spreadsheet

+ Let someone know you’re on your way home

“We launched the Uber service in July, and we’re excited to see what our users do with it. Not only can riders (and potentially driver-partners in the future) customize their own experience, our makers can also build and publish Applets for others to turn on, too. It’s fun to sit back and watch — you never know what you might discover!”

— Justin Wong, VP of Business Development at IFTTT

Exciting Possibilities Ahead

Uber is the first transportation service on IFTTT, opening up a whole new category of Applets. It’s still in the early days, but IFTTT is eager to see the many new ways riders will connect to Uber. Will riders use the service with communication tools like email and chat to let people know when they’re on the way? Will they find new ways to get notified or notify others about their rides? Or will they come up with creative ideas we didn’t even anticipate?

Unique services like Uber also act as gateways to new audiences. For example, in addition to connecting with Uber’s rider base, IFTTT is also thinking of how Applets can enhance the driving experience for Uber’s driver-partners. In the coming months, IFTTT plans to keep its ears to the ground for cool applet ideas that unlock new automation possibilities using the Uber Driver API.

“As a huge fan and daily user of IFTTT, I am incredibly excited about this collaboration. Enabling developers like IFTTT to build the future of transportation is why we come to work every day.

— Adam Rogal, Head of Engineering, Uber Developer Platform

Ready to start customizing and automating your own trip experience? Check out the Uber service on IFTTT and activate your favorite Applets today!

For more information on how to build your own Uber Trip Experience, get started now with the Trip Experiences tutorial.

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