Basically, Triggy aims to be a smartphone or tablet companion tag, sensing the environment and automatically triggering actions based on physical events. A Triggy module can detect an event such as: this door is opening, the temperature in the fridge goes above x degrees, someone pushed the button, etc... Then a fully customizable rule allows to decide what to do: generate a notification on the phone, play a ringtone, or a lot more.
Among possible actions, one can trigger an IFTTT recipe and as a result choose an action among a very large choice. Triggy can be used as a component of a home automation system, however not limited to home applications.
Here below are few examples of situations where Triggy can be used, based on actual rules:
Some actions are local to the device connected to the tag (notification , play a sound/ringtone, put the device on vibrate...), others are available through IFTTT. Cloud connection + IFTTT = extended possibilities.
Video showing an exampIe of IFTTT recipe creation and action triggering:
Today one can easily buy and install a more or less expensive smart home solution. Some of them allows a connection to the cloud, others also support the IFTTT service. With Triggy, we want to enable new possibilities, new usages. Hereafter the key points that have guided this project:
- Low investment required
- Small form factor and low power
- Open standard
- Extensible and scalable
- Multi-purpose and versatile
Most of home automation solutions use a hub, a box to centralize and connect the different parts of the system (sensors, actuators ...) The price of that hub makes the whole solution generally expensive. Using an already owned, a spare or second-hand smartphone or tablet, the hardware cost of a Triggy solution will be far lower. With one Triggy board and a smartphone, it is already possible to do wonderful things. Additionally buy a WiFi smart plug, smart light or any available smart actuator that supports IFTTT, and you can easily do home automation. Low cost and easy to use!
These two constraints go hand in hand, because the size of a WiFi-connected sensor (no hub required) is generally imposed by the size of the battery required to operate it for a decent duration. Components choices and efforts to reduce the power consumption of the Triggy module allow now to make it work on a coin-cell battery (CR2032) with at least a year of battery life. The board dimensions have been decreased down to 25mm x 25mm, which allows to stick it almost everywhere (mailbox flap, cat flap, small objects ...) while being discreet. Existing sensors, such as a movement detector, working without a hub or gateway (WiFi) are a lot bigger than this, due to the WiFi peak consumption.
Bluetooth Low Energy is used for the communication between the Triggy board and the smartphone. This protocol is both publicly accessible and low power. BLE GATT servers (such as Triggy) expose a standard data structure, allowing to use it with other applications. Another advantage is a seamless integration of Triggy with any smart home solution compatible with IFTTT. It can work also with the numerous WiFi actuators (IFTTT compatible), without being bound to a solution manufacturer that uses a proprietary protocol.
The Triggy board embeds few sensors (displacement, temperature, proximity to the smartphone, push-button) and still allows to create a significant number of useful usages. But we also want to allow easy connection of expansion boards in order to detect new events, according to the needs. One can easily imagine the interest of adding a CO2 sensor, a humidity sensor, a light sensor... Moreover an expansion board is already under development (rain or water presence sensor + light sensor). Another one will come to measure the soil moisture (plantation).
Probably the most important goal is to create a hardware + application which can help in as many use cases as possible. Home automation is one thing, but we can do a lot...