Most Arlo HD Camera owners are probably unaware that automation exists to take this camera line to different levels. It’s called IFTTT. This is a free service that facilitates integration with devices and services such as gmail, your phone, Facebook and Pinterest. IFTTT is an acronym for “If This Then That”. You can do some very cool stuff with IFTTT for Arlo and this article will show you how to do it and highlight some of the capabilities. IFTTT isn’t owned by Arlo and in fact is independent of the devices that are supported.
First thing to do is visit the IFTTT web site and register. Once you get there, you will notice what they call recipes. These are pre-written scripts to facilitate integration. IFTTT for Arlo entails use of an Arlo specific recipe. It allows integration between an Arlo HD Security Camera and other services or devices. You can search for Arlo and will see a bunch of recipes appear.
There are also objects called channels. Each officially integrated device has a channel. There’s an Arlo channel which you will activate. When you activate the Arlo channel, IFTTT will ask you to confirm that you are ok with the controls that you will permit IFTTT to work. Click ok.
Now you can begin to use some Arlo recipes.
The Arlo HD Security Cameras are truly wireless devices. That means there’s no power cable. Internal batteries are used. The downside of that is the need to stay up to date in terms of battery life. I once went several weeks without checking the battery and the camera stopped working because the battery was out of power. Unfortunately it was at my vacation home and I wasn’t returning there for another month so I lost access to what was going on.
This is where IFTTT comes in. A recipe exists to call your phone when the battery is low. That’s the image that accompanies this article. The Arlo channel is listed to the left and the phone channel is listed to the right. Activating this recipe will call your phone with a message that your battery is running low. This is something that the Arlo HD camera can’t do on it’s own. You need IFTTT to do that. This is my favorite IFTTT for Arlo HD recipe.
A nice feature on other home security cameras is the ability to activate a camera when you aren’t home. Unfortunately, this capability doesn’t exist on an Arlo HD camera. There are two recipes on IFTTT for Arlo that allows activation of a camera when you leave the house, another to deactivate when you come home. Nest Cam has this capability as part of the basic features. Now your Arlo HD can do it thanks for IFTTT.
IFTTT for Arlo HS cameras also integrates other devices with your camera. I have multiple WeMo Switches around my home. These are wireless devices for controlling anything plugged into them. In my case, I control lights going on and off. I can turn a light on from 1000 miles away as WeMo is connected to the internet. A recipe to turn on the lights when your Arlo HD camera detects motion is handy for adding security to your home when away. Nice for hopefully scaring any potential intruder enough to get out.
There are a lot of other devices that integrate IFTTT for Arlo with other devices and services. Similar to the phone alerts when the battery is low, you can also add an iOS reminder to buy batteries. Devices like HUE and SmartThings have recipes based upon Arlo events. You can also integrate gmail as a way to receive alerts.
All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way. I have owned and tested dozens of cameras. Manufacturer support varies. There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions. There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).