I just made a slightly better (but still rough) smartthings integration with a custom device type to eliminate IFTTT altogether, but posted the info on the "getting starter" topic instead of here. It is superfast by comparison.
I think it would still work wihtout a hub, but I have a hub now so did it that way. Could at least test your use case this way, but seemed most fair to me to use their servers and buy their product, which is very cheap for what it does. It's awesome how much programming and playing you can do without one, though, to see if it will work for you. It wowld be best to ultimately get a full integration where hook tells the hub about its devices on offer, but more than I care to learn how to do.