iThem – programming internet-of-thing
IFTTT enabled a novel programming experience to connect different intelligent services. For example, one can create an algorithm that will send a text message (e.g., “Don’t forget your umbrella!) if it is raining on a particular day. However, it only allows users to create simplistic algorithms (if-this-then-that). For example, it does not allow you to write an algorithm that requires two different conditions (e.g., “Send me a text message if it is raining and if it is a weekday.”) This is because the simple if-this-then-that structure cannot cover complex algorithms that require multiple conditions, iteration (e.g., incrementing counters), or randomness. To enable programmers to control IoT devices more, we propose iThem (intelligence of them, meaning internet of things). Users will be able to connect any existing services in IFTTT to iThem service, which will let users write algorithms to trigger a different service in IFTTT. We believe that iThem will offer programmers to author algorithms that can connect different IoT services and make a real impact on their daily lives. We also posit that this will give end-users novel motivations to learn to program.