Before registering for our service, we thought it would be helpful for you to learn a bit more about what we do, and how you can best make use of it! This page will introduce some terminology, as well as walk you through setting up a simple Applet using one of our Triggers on IFTTT. And don't worry, this guide will be available after you have registered and logged in.
Or, you can go directly to registration.
Continua is an online service created by Cogitai that provides smarter control for your IoT devices. (We will soon be adding machine learning!) Currently, Continua is not a standalone technology; it must be used together with IFTTT, a web platform that allows different services such as Nest, SmartThings, WeMo, Twitter, etc. to connect to each other. Continua is one such service on the IFTTT platform, and you must create an IFTTT account in order to use Continua.
For those of you familiar with IFTTT, Continua adds time-related capabilities to IFTTT's Triggers. For example, you can create Applets that do the following: "If motion in my living room was detected within 5 minutes after I left my house, send me a text message," or "If my kids did not text me within one hour after school ends, then flash my Philips Hue smart light."
To understand how Continua works with IFTTT, it is important to first understand the terminology that IFTTT uses. If you are already familiar with IFTTT's Applets, Triggers, and Actions, feel free to skip this section.Applets
IFTTT stands for "If This, Then That", a two-part idea that plays a central role in how their platform works. Users on IFTTT must create or choose from a variety of pre-made Applets, and each Applet is a specific case of "If something happens on service 1, then do something on service 2." For example, one Applet that a user could create is, "If my Nest camera detects motion, then send me an email."Triggers and Actions
Applets are broken down into two parts. The first part (the part that follows the if) is called a Trigger, and the second part (the part that follows the then) is called an Action. You can imagine each Applet described as "If Trigger, then Action." When the condition specified by the Trigger becomes true, we say it fires, thus causing the Action to occur.
To make this concrete, let’s revisit the example used earlier: "If my Nest camera detects motion, then send me an email." In this case, the Trigger is the Nest camera detecting motion, and the Action is the sending of an email.
Just as IFTTT itself works in two parts via Triggers and Actions, so does Continua. It is important to note that Continua can only work if both parts are set up correctly!The Continua Triggers
On IFTTT, we have released three Triggers and one Action for Continua. One Trigger we have released is called “Timeout,” which fires when a specified number of minutes have passed after an event has occurred. For example, this Trigger could be made to fire 5 minutes after motion was last detected in the living room. With this Trigger you could create an Applet that does the following: "If 5 minutes have passed since motion was last detected in the living room, then turn off the Philips Hue smart light that I have in my living room."
The other two Triggers that we have released allow you to create Applets that fire on even more complex configurations. You can read more about them here.The “Tell Continua” Action
But how does Continua know when 5 minutes have passed since motion was last detected in the living room? On its own, it doesn’t — this is where the "Tell Continua" Action comes in. Before you can set up a useful Continua Trigger, you must first have told Continua about the event(s) you want it to fire on (in our example, motion in the living room). The "Tell Continua" Action does exactly this, by leveraging IFTTT to feed event data from one of your IoT devices into Continua.
An example of an Applet using the "Tell Continua" Action would be: "If my Nest camera in the living room detects motion, then tell Continua." Thus, each time the Nest camera detects motion in the living room, it will store the motion event on Continua. You can then use that event to power one of our Continua Triggers.
Note that when you set up a "Tell Continua" Action, you have the option to specify both a device name and an event name. It is important that you use easy-to-understand names (without dynamic values) for both of these. For instance, for the example used above, you might name the device "Living Room Nest" and the event "motion detected".Continua Applets on IFTTT
For convenience, we have released some pre-configured Applets that use the "Tell Continua" Action. By visiting our Service page on IFTTT, you can easily select and turn on these Applets to start telling Continua about some useful events!
You won't be able to go through this example until you've completed registration, but we're leaving it here in case you want to take a look first! Don't worry, you'll still be able to access this page once you're logged in.
Continua works in two parts:
1. You must give event data to Continua by setting up an Applet on IFTTT that uses the "Tell Continua" Action.
2. Once that event has been successfully stored by Continua, you can set up a Continua Trigger that fires based on that event.
To understand this process in more detail, check out the "How does Continua work with IFTTT?" section above.
Before you can use Continua to its full potential, you must give it event data to work with. For this example, we have published an Applet on IFTTT that will send a sample event to Continua every time you send a text message that includes "#Continua" to the IFTTT phone number (1-415-801-0202). Note that this phone number is a default number that IFTTT uses in order to send and receive SMS messages.
To use this Applet, go to our IFTTT page and click on the Applet titled, "Text (415)-801-0202 a message with "#Continua" to add a sample event to Continua". This Applet can also be seen below:
On the following page, click "Turn on" to start using the Applet. If you only see a button that says "On", that means you have already turned on the Applet, and it should be working correctly.
You have now set up your first Applet using the "Tell Continua" Action! Now you need to make sure that Continua is actually receiving events from it. For this example, this is as simple as sending a text with the message "#Continua" to the phone number 1-415-801-0202.
Once you have sent this text, go to the Events page on Continua and confirm that you see a new entry like below:
Important note: If this is your first time going through this example, you should actually see two of these events at this step! This is because we automatically created a sample event for you when your account was created. Otherwise, if you are logging a completely new event, you will receive an email when Continua hears about it for the first time, to remind you that it's time to set up a Trigger based on that event.
If you do not see this second sample event, make sure that the IFTTT Applet is turned on, and that your text message was sent successfully.
Now that you are able to send an event to Continua, it's time to create a Continua Trigger based on that event. Go to IFTTT and create a new applet. Click on where it says "this" in blue, and type in "Continua" in the search box. You should see the "Cogitai Continua" Service listed:
Click on the Service, which will bring you to a page of our Triggers. For this example, choose the "Timeout" Trigger, which looks like the following:
On the following page, choose "Cogitai Continua sample event" when asked "Which event do you care about?" and use the default "5 minutes". Important: In order to select an event in this textbox, it must have already been stored on Continua.
Click "Create Trigger". Your page should look like the following:
Click the "that" on the following page. Now you will need to pick an Action that occurs when the Trigger fires. For this example, we will use "SMS" to keep things simple. In the search box, type in "sms" and choose the "SMS" Service:
Select "Send me an SMS". On the following page, you don't need to change anything. It should look like:
Click "Create Action". On the final page, click "Finish".
Congrats! You have now created your first Applet using a Continua Trigger!
Now to test your Continua Trigger. Send another text to 1-415-801-0202 with the message "#Continua" in order to add the "Cogitai Continua sample event" to Continua. Now that your Trigger is in place, Continua will listen for this event – based on how you have set the Trigger up, in approximately 5 minutes you will receive an SMS letting you know that the sample event was detected.
Once you've received the message, you're done!
If you did not happen to receive the message after 5 minutes, it may be that IFTTT is still buffering your text. On their end, it takes a while to send out texts. You may need to wait longer for it to arrive.
To keep this example simple, we didn't set up anything too interesting. However, there's actually an extraordinary variety of things you can now do with Continua that you couldn't do with IFTTT alone. For instance, if you are telling Continua about motion detected by a motion sensor, you could set up an Applet like, "If 5 minutes have passed since I have left my house, then lock my front door." Or, by using some of our other Triggers, you can create even more complex Applets, like "If motion in my living room was detected within 5 minutes after I left my house, send me a text message," or "If my kids did not text me within one hour after school ends, then flash my Philips Hue smart light." The possibilities are endless!
If you have more questions, you can check out our Help Center as well, or contact a support team member directly by sending an e-mail to email@example.com or a direct message to our Twitter, @CogitaiContinua.