We've been promised lots of things in The Future. Some of are panning out (see: autonomous vehicles) and others are still pipe dreams (see: flying cars). But we're getting closer to Jetsons-style home automation, and one enterprising Mac nerd isn't waiting around for automakers and consumer electronics companies to make it happen.
In a detailed but surprisingly comprehendible post over at MacStories, TJ Luoma showed off how he's combined a few tools to connect his car with his computer to automate a handful of tasks when he gets to work and clocks out at the end of the day.
Luoma was after a few things: When he leaves work, he wanted the computer to be locked, begin its nightly back-up routine, and have a few apps running in the background. When he gets back, basically the opposite.
An Automatic dongle plugged into the OBDII port detects when the ignition is turned on or off in a specific location. That relays a message through IFTTT, which triggers a custom recipe that's linked to Dropbox. The Mac recognizes that trigger and executes a series of commands that Luoma designed to do his bidding.
But it's way more complicated than that.
Thankfully, Luoma has offered up a guide and the required files if you want to take a crack at it yourself and tweak it to suit your needs. It's absolutely overkill for 99.99 percent of the population, but if you want to at least feel like you're living in the future, it could make for an interesting weeknight project while you're waiting for your damn lights to turn on.