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Caavo’s Control Center, a set-top box that leverages a combination of machine learning, deep linking, APIs, HDMI-CEC, IP Control, Bluetooth, and IR to unify your entertainment console, is becoming a bit more capable. Starting today, it supports IFTTT, a web-based service that lets you create chained rules to trigger actions in Gmail, Facebook, Telegram, Instagram, Amazon’s Alexa, Fitbit, Slack, Skype, Pinterest, and over 600 other services.
Control Center is basically a souped-up HDMI switcher with artificial intelligence (AI). There’s no need to specify which boxes, receivers, and dongles are plugged into it — Control Center detects them automatically (including your TV), and a clever picture-in-picture menu obviates the need to switch inputs manually. A universal search feature not only pulls up titles across live television, network-attached storage devices, and storefronts like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube, it automatically chooses the best devices from which to play content. Niftily, it offers built-in voice search and works with both Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant, with support for Dolby Atmost and HDR standards, including HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
Here’s how IFTTT on Control Center works: Assuming you’re already signed up for IFTTT, you create or choose from a list of conditional statements — Applets — to connect third-party devices and services to Control Center. Some send alerts to your TV for things like upcoming appointments, important emails, and security alerts, Caavo says, and others effectively transform Control Center into a hub for connected deadbolts, smart thermostats, and other connected devices.
A few of the published Applets include Pizza Cam, which triggers a Ring or Nest door camera to alert you through your TV when someone’s at the door, and Dim the Lights, which dials down Philips Hue lighting fixtures on command. Here’s a sampling of the others:
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- Boss Alert: Sends a push notification to your TV screen when someone with
a particular email address sends you a message.
- Event Reminder: Sends a reminder to your TV for upcoming Google
- What’s the Score?: Sets your TV to tune to ESPN when an August Smart Lock unlocks the door.
- Security Alerts: Sends an alert to your TV whenever an Arlo security camera detects activity.
- TV Time: Sends a notification to your smartphone when the TV is turned on.
“The TV is the biggest shared screen in the home, and we want to make it easy for the whole family to get the most out of it,” Caavo CEO and cofounder Andrew Einaudi said in a statement. “By partnering with IFTTT, people can get even more value out of the smart home products they have in ways that are meaningful to their lives.”
Caavo’s Control Center starts at $99. The optional Control Center Service Plan, which enables universal search, content deep linking, access to guides and recommendations, and more, costs $20 a year or $2 a month.
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