Connect your hearing aids to all your favorite apps

06/17/2016

connect-your-hearing-aids-to-all-your-favorite-apps
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by Nancy Salim

It’s pretty cool.  IFTTT (“if this then that”) is a free web-based tool that connects all of your favorite apps and websites through automation.  What does that mean?  It means, it takes the apps and sites you use every day and lets you create interactions between them.  The interactions are known as “recipes”—chains of simple conditional statements—which are triggered based on changes made to other web services.  For example “If this” you reach your daily step goal with your FitBit “then that” will automatically post that goal as a Facebook status update.  That’s just one small example.

The best part—you can now connect your hearing aids to the Internet using this service!

Imagine a hearing aid that will dial your phone on command, turn on your coffee pot and your home security system.  Think that’s somewhere far into the future?  It’s not–Oticon just released the first ever hearing aid, Opn™, that connects to the Internet. The benefits of having a hearing aid connected to the Internet are pretty endless.  First, this means your hearing aid can be potentially upgraded at home and by using the IFTTT web service.  You can connect with more than 300 devices for your home, car and more, including a host of web services.  For example, turn the lights off, the TV on, the coffeepot on from bed and be able to contact emergency services through your hearing aid.

Once you sign up for an IFTTT account, you can connect to any of the 300 plus available channels to your account.  Each channel, which can be a web service like Facebook or Dropbox, or a device like a Fitbit or a WiFi-enabled dishwasher from GE Appliances, has its own set of triggers (the “if this” part) and actions (the “then that” side).  Once you select a channel to serve as the trigger, you’ll be given a list of specific trigger events available for that channel.  For example, if you choose the Oticon channel you’ll see a trigger/action that allows users to automatically turn on the TV when they switch their hearing aids to TV, or to play a spoken notification when someone is at the door.  If you want to narrow down trigger events to very specific occurrences, you can add specific trigger fields.  You can also see how other people set up their triggers and actions to help create your own.

When you activate a trigger on one channel, IFTTT will ensure an action takes place on another channel.  Some examples of the IFTTT recipes (trigger and action sequences) are:

  • Change your Twitter profile picture when you change your Facebook profile picture.
  • Save all photos that you post to Instagram to Dropbox.
  • Create a Google Calendar event whenever you check in to a location on Foursquare.
  • Back up your Dropbox files in Google Drive.
  • Receive a daily wake-up call.
  • Dictate a voice message to IFTTT and receive a transcription in your inbox.
  • Receive a weather report notification every day at 8:30 a.m.
  • Sync new contacts to a Google Spreadsheet.
  • Turn off Wi-Fi when your phone’s battery is low.

Available channels include social networking services like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Pinterest; business services like Quip, Harvest, LinkedIn, Square and Concur; Google services like YouTube, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Talk; sync services like Dropbox, Box and OneDrive; blog services like WordPress, Tumblr and Weebly; media sharing services like SoundCloud, Instagram and Flickr; news and sports like ESPN, Time, The New York Times and NPR; commerce services like Etsy, Fiverr, Craigslist, eBay and Best Buy.  Other channels include services for stocks, weather, date, time, sending text messages and taking phone calls.  For a complete list of connected devices and services, visit https://ifttt.com/channels.

Here are some other cool things you can use IFTT to do automatically:

  • Light up your house once it gets dark.
  • Turn on the heat or AC to your desired temperature.
  • Make coffee for you.
  • Automatically activate your smart alarm when you leave home.
  • Tweet the photos you post on Instagram automatically.
  • Share a message and your location with a group or a loved one.
  • Send an email (or text) to a friend or family when you leave work.
  • Create events in Google Calendar with only a few taps.
  • Catalog important email from your inbox in an Evernote notebook to go over later.
  • Schedule daily or weekly to-dos in Trello so you’re always on top of your work.
  • Get notified when a favorite topic is trending.
  • Follow your favorite teams and read scores after every game.
  • Read the most popular technology stories published in The New York Times.
  • Read a weekly email digest of TIME Magazine’s best business articles.
  • Stay informed with a daily roundup of NPR’s news headlines.
  • Get a notification if you haven’t reached your daily fitness goals.
  • Receive a summary of your week’s physical activity.
  • Get a daily digest of new products added to any category on Best Buy.
  • Get an email for new Craigslist listings for whatever you’re shopping for.
  • Get a notification if there’s a price drop on any product webpage, all you need is a link.
  • Get push notification for shipping status updates.

Ready to test drive the latest hearing aid technology?  Call 888.902.9310 to book a hearing test and demo the latest hearing aid technology at a clinic in your area.

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