Bttn: One button to rule them all
With the world seemingly transferring everything online to apps and cloud services, we're losing touch with how our actions trigger reactions. Bttn, a physical button that can be used in any way its owner sees fit, is an attempt to bring back a tactile element to the way we connect with everyone and everything around us.
To understand Bttn you first need to understand IFTTT (If This Then That). IFTTT is a service which enables users to connect various Web applications. Using its Recipes function, you can set one application to act in a certain way when another condition is met. The "This" is a trigger such as "When I am tagged in a photo on Facebook," while the "That" is an action such as "Send me an SMS text message."
IFTTT is a powerful tool to have in your arsenal, and Bttn brings IFTTT offline and into the real world. Bttn is, on the face of it, just a simple red button figuratively begging to be pressed. What happens when it's pressed depends entirely on what action Bttn has been programmed to trigger.
Individuals could use Bttn to let their child send a text message to their parents when they get home from school, or enable them to order a pizza from the local restaurant when they're too tired to make dinner. Businesses could use Bttn to notify the boss when someone arrives for work, or to allow customers to register their satisfaction with the service on their way out of the door.
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. A pair of AA batteries are all that's needed to power Bttn for a whole year.
Bttn is available to pre-order for €69 (US$94) with deliveries expected to begin in October ... giving interested parties plenty of time to test out IFTTT in preparation.