Reminder Hack

Have you taken advantage of geo-fence triggered reminders using Siri?  You can say things like “Remind me to take out the trash when I get home” or “Remind me to stop by the farm stand when I leave” and Siri will set a geo-fence triggered reminder. I use this all the time and I love it, but it’s a bit too late to remind you to bring your work out clothes when you leave, as the reminder tends to happen when you’re already in your car a ways away from home.  The reminders for when you arrive are more useful, but they can go off when you’re busy driving as well – with plenty of things to distract you before you get out of the car.

There are probably lots of ways you can hack your own more accurate reminders, but I am setting off on an experiment to test out one: WeMo motion-sensing notifications.  WeMo makes these motion sensors designed to turn on and off lights and what-not, but you can also set it to simply send yourself a message.

WeMo Motion Sensor

I’m setting out to play around with it to see if I can get it to give me accurately timed reminders right when I need them.  You can create rules that govern when a notification is sent, such as days/times when a notification can be triggered by motion.  You can also set it to do things when you’re “away” or “home”.  You can also hook it up to IFTTT, which allows you to set all sorts of different triggers and actions.  I might try to get it to turn on my window A/C unit when I leave work for example.

There are drawbacks to doing reminders using motion sensing: the cat or my wife could set it off.  It doesn’t know exactly when I’m leaving.  I could just be going out to put out the trash.  I can mitigate this by having it only remind me about bringing something I need to work by only going off upon sensing motion in the morning when I’m at home.  I also can’t use Siri to set these reminders (unless I were to jailbreak it or set up my own Siri server).  But I imagine that the ability to create custom Siri commands might be in our future…

I will post again once I have some results of my little foray into making more accurate reminders.  If you use your own trick for creating more timely reminders, please comment below.

Picking up where blog.com left off

This blog is a continuation of my blog.com version of this blog.  That site was continually going down, to the point where every time I tried to create a post, I could not access the site or my posts had gone missing.  Perhaps at some point I will try to transfer those entries here.

I mostly post stuff about swing dancing and computational biology.  As I write this however, hype is building for the new Star Wars movies, so I might sneak in a post or two here about my beloved films.