The British startup Manything now has a channel on IFTTT — the first channel on the plug-web-services-together platform that’s devoted to video surveillance. This means Manything users can connect the service with other home automation devices like Philips Hue lightbulbs, Belkin’s WeMo and Google’s Nest.
Manything is a bit like Presence, in that it lets you repurpose old camera-equipped iOS devices as Dropcam-style monitoring systems – point the device where you want to look, then tune in from wherever you are using the Manything app or desktop browser. You can set up sensitivity thresholds and motion detection zones and, because the video footage is relayed via Manything’s servers, the company also provides continuous “cloud recording”.
Now, courtesy of the IFTTT channel that launched late Tuesday, as well as a new version of the Manything app that came out last week, the service can talk to other elements of the connected home. Manything has published around 24 pre-ordained recipes for connecting to other services, along with actions and triggers that IFTTT subscribers can use to create their own recipes.
As CEO James West explained it to me:
“You can turn on your Manything camera when you leave home and turn it off when you come back by using native iOS location services, or if you use other location apps like Live360. Then in terms of physical hardware, you do things like, if your Manything camera detects motion, it can turn on the lights inside the house, or if you’re in the house and it detects motion outside it flashes the light.”
West was particularly proud of the fact that users can connect Manything with the Nest smoke alarm so, if smoke is detected, the user can automatically be pushed live video from their house – this is a feature that is yet to come out for Dropcam, which recently joined Nest in Google’s home automation line-up.
One downside of Manything, for now, is that it’s an iOS-only system. However, West said the startup was “about to kick off some work on the Android version of the app”.
I’m a bit more concerned about the fact that Manything video streams are not encrypted, so I wouldn’t go training my Manything camera on anything too sensitive if I thought somebody might have an interest in hacking into that stream. On the other hand, user authentication and web communications are encrypted and user passwords hashed and salted using PBKDF2.
In the future, Manything will charge for storing recorded video from multiple devices, and for storing more than 12 hours’ worth, but right now users can record and store a whole 30 days of footage for free.
At the moment, the service has 25,000 users. However, given the number of outdated iOS devices that are out there (Manything estimates there are already 180 million “retired” iPhones), and the way in which connected home automation devices are starting to take off, the IFTTT path may bring the British startup a whole lot more attention.