Amazon AWS IoT Button – First Impressions

I was quite excited when I heard that Amazon is selling a modified special version of its Amazon Dash Buttons. While the normal Dash buttons cannot do anything else than order one thing on Amazon, the AWS IoT Button is “programmable”, meaning you can set it up to connect to everything that is reachable via the internet. But what sets it apart from other options?

What’s so great about the AWS IoT Button?

  • First of all, its the price: It’s hard to find anything comparable in the same price range.
  • Second, the AWS IoT Button connects via WiFi. Competing products like the Logitech Pop Home Switch need a special hub which acts as a bridge to the WLAN.
  • Third: It’s very small. Just about the length of a AA battery.
  • Fourth: What I have not seen advertised is the fact that the buttons can distinguish three different actions: Single press, long press and double press.

What are the negative points?

The AWS IoT Button needs a cloud counterpart, which is the AWS IoT Platform. From there you can program it to connect it the internet, i.e. to IFTTT via the Maker Channel and from there to Apilio, of course :-). As you can see by looking at some step by step guides (links at the end of the article), this is quite complicated and not manageable by the average consumer (who don’t seem to be the target market anyway).
Another drawback is the battery which is said to last for about 1’000 button presses. After that, you can’t use the button anymore because the battery is not replaceable (well, it might be possible, but you have to break open the case: )

Conclusion

The current version of the AWS IoT Button is an interesting piece of hardware – nobody else has managed to pack the functionality in such a small case and sell it for 20 dollars! But It’s not ready yet for the mass market because of the non-replaceable battery and the geeky setup procedure.
A dream for tinkerers, a glimpse into the future for consumers.

Links

2 comments
  1. Magnus
    Magnus
    17th February 2017 at 15:51

    Interesting — did you also see
    https://flic.io/

    A bit more expensive, and you need a Bluetooth receiver (such as your phone) but the connection to ifttt is then built n.

    Reply
    • Philipp
      Philipp
      17th February 2017 at 16:13

      Yes, I know that that one.
      It’s also nice, but I like the Amazon Button more because it does not rely on a communication relay. Makes it more family-friendly 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: