Consider the Internet-of-Things (or Internet-of-Everything as some like to call it): everything – yes, literally everything – will be connected. And the IoT sales people have high promises: Cars will be safer. TV will be better. Homes will be smarter.
The promise is that different things can talk to each other if you want. Nowadays many IoT devices can only talk to their own cloud services, which for example can be interconnected with services like IFTTT (a nice service I have written about some time ago). Ever wondered what if you could trigger IFTTT actions via a button? I had wondered and I even wrote a post how to interface your own hardware to IFTTT.
If you are looking to trigger IFTTT actions via a button without too much hacking one promising looking product for this looks to be bttn. A Finnish company created for 69 Euros (roughly $94) an Internet-of-Things button called “The bttn”. bttn promises to be the simplest internet user interface in the world: A stand-alone physical push button that connects to the internet. It promises connectivity to IFTTT, Zapier and OpenHome services. The bttn is build for indoor use and is powered by a battery (2 AA batteries) or micro USB-cable. The bttn uses a mobile data (built-in GSM modem) or Wi-Fi connection. The bttn mainly targets business owners. In all honesty, who can resist pressing a red button? Press it and it will do something that you have predefined.
Besides sending the information when button is pressed, there is some feedback to other direction: The button pusher receives feedback on whether the command has been executed — currently this is visual feedback, via LEDs incorporated into the bttn. bttn’s LED lights can emulate four states: Green for ‘command executed’, yellow for ‘wait’, red for ‘error’.
The real genius behind the bttn is that it is simple for end user and the possibilities are almost absolutely ridiculously endless. It allows you to harness the power of various Internet technologies, such as HTTP, RSS, IFTTT, SmartThings, Twitter, Facebook, email, or SMS messaging. It is wireless and self-contained. Whatever IFTTT Recipe is programmed into Bttn, the device will connect to The Button Corporation servers and turn the trigger into an action. LED lights on Bttn will glow yellow when the request is being processed, green when it’s completed, and red if there is an error. Bttn achieves all of this via Wi-Fi, SMS, or data connection. The bttn mainly targets business owners, targeted to replace local legacy providers who offer single-purpose devices built on legacy infrastructure.
Currently the device is in Pre-order in Indiegogo. Deliveries will start in October 2014. I like the idea that bttn is built by Finnish company (The Button Corporation). I like give positive publicity to promising companies that operate in my home country. This idea looks good. So good that I might some day try to copy some of their ideas…