Louisville has begun rolling out its promised “Smart Louisville” initiative, and now you can be notified of air quality warnings via email, text, Slack or even a light bulb.
If you sign up for the digital service online, you can instruct it to send air quality alerts to various places and smart devices just by clicking a button. Before now, you had to actively look for alerts online or via 311.
Louisville is the first city in the country to use the automated service via IFTTT, which stands for “If this, then that.”
“As long as you can open a text message, read an email, or look at a light bulb, every citizen of Louisville has the opportunity to know their city’s air quality before they step outside,” noted Digital Trends.
Michael Schnuerle, data officer for Louisville’s Office of Performance Improvement and Innovation, told IL that there’s more to come. He said initial focus would be on requests that citizens make most often and on services that the office can implement quickly.
“We are also being careful about how we roll out so we can support each integration in the future, since once it’s out there people will want us to keep running, of course,” he said.
But Schnurele said that the office plans on rolling these services out on a regular basis and that the people involved in the project have new IFTTT “recipes” on their project schedules.
He predicts that things like garbage, recycling, emergency notifications from the city and junk pickup dates may be next. All of those data sets have APIs (application program interfaces), a set of protocols and tools for building software applications, making them easier to adapt.
Next up, said Schnuerle, the city will dip into its open data portal, which also has its own API that can tie into IFTTT. The open data portal includes data sets like restaurant health ratings, crime, neighborhood development, permits or road closures.
Currently, the digital service channel is maintained by the city and only issues air quality warnings. You can use IFTTT to retrieve warnings through Slack or email. For people with smart homes, the service can change your Phillips Hue light bulb to red to signal an alert. There are nine “recipes” in total loaded onto IFTTT on the city’s page thus far.
Engadget wrote, “Citizens of Louisville, Kentucky just got a way to make their smart homes even smarter, thanks to IFTTT and the local city government.” And CNET commented, “If you live in Louisville, Kentucky, and your Philips Hue smart light bulbs turn red, you might want to stay inside.”
Linden Tibbets, founder and CEO of IFTTT, said in a news release: “We believe that cities harnessing their own data can create countless possibilities for their residents. Louisville is leading the way in this regard. We look forward to partnering over the next months as they add more and more to their service.”