1btn (one button) uses the internet to complete a task with the simple, satisfying click of a single button. It connects to the internet over WiFi to trigger whatever action you have assigned to it using a simple, online interface. One click, one task. It’s that simple.
Unlike many other “Internet of Things” devices, 1btn does not maintain a continuous connection to the internet. Instead, it sleeps until pressed, then it connects to the internet, performs the assigned task, tells you the outcome via its multi-colored LED, and then returns to rest.
We believe that the last one - invoking an URL action (a.k.a., a webhook) - is particularly powerful since it lets you interact with and control any internet-enabled application. Imagine being able to click the 1btn on your way out the door to turn on the heat using the smart thermostat in your workshop.
As the Internet of Things has expanded, we’ve noticed an unfortunate trend: the increasing use of smartphones to control IoT applications. We don’t think a smartphone provides the best or simplest UI for this purpose. Think of all the steps you need to take to send a single instruction with a smartphone: find the phone, wake it up or power it up, enter your passcode, swipe and swipe until you find and start up your smart app, select the appropriate control, activate it, and then put the phone back to sleep.
We think there’s a better way, a tried-and-true, more intuitive way, to activate a single task or function, and that’s with a button. Why are buttons such a great idea? A button is the simplest user interface for a single-repetitive-programmable task. They are simple exactly because they are designed for a single-task. More importantly, buttons are easy-to-understand, they are familiar, intuitive, and provide immediate physical feedback when pushed.
The uses for 1btn are limited only by your imagination…
By default, 1btn comes pre-configured for some basic third-party services like email, Twilio SMS, and Twitter. Adding more services is easy. The bottom line is, we can’t possibly imagine all the things you’ll be able to do with 1btn and your creativity!
Now that we preached about the simplicity of 1btn – let’s talk about the 1btn’s advanced features. While 1btn is a simple interface, it packs a lot of punch because of its open source design and the configurability. For example, the open design means you could completely rewrite the 1btn’s firmware. You can even modify the API’s endpoints and re-route them somewhere else.
On the other hand, if you wish to use existing hardware with your own servers – you could redirect button press action to your servers and then invoke a script you’ve written to do the heavy lifting. 1btn gives you access to ReST API calls, so you can fully integrate it into larger systems and configure it programmatically. You can even write code to configure multiple buttons. Imagine being able to bring up an entire application infrastructure with the push of one button, and then launching the application with a second button.
Hacking isn’t limited to programming, either. You can also modify or retrofit the 1btn for use as a home automation or monitoring device. For example, the tactile switch of 1btn could be replaced with contact/non-contact sensors and these sensors could trigger an action when the circuit goes open.
Out of the box, 1btn needs to be configured so it can connect to your WiFi network. 1btn creates a WiFi hotspot for this purpose. You connect to this hotspot and provide the credentials of your network.
To configure the 1btn to perform tasks, you’ll need to create an account for access to the web console which is used for configuration. You then register each 1btn with its unique ID (Its MAC address, technically). You can also assign a nickname to each 1btn for easy reference. You can get a sneak peek at the 1btn web console at www.1btn.space. You will need to register in order to access the console.
Once connected and registered, you can select one of the pre-configured actions, such as send an email to specified address, send a text message to given number, or post on twitter using a certain hashtag or you can set up your own web-calls to your application.
Under normal use, the 1btn remains in deep sleep mode until it is pressed. It then wakes, connects to the internet, does the job assigned to it, and tells you the outcome via its multicolored LED. It then returns to sleep mode. All this happens in about 5-7 seconds.
You can easily use double sided adhesive tape so you can stick it to any surface. 1btn can also be effectively used as a coffee table/study table device which you can move around all the time. Depending upon the use, you can mount 1btn or keep it handy.
Our test results indicate that battery would last little over 300 presses. So if you use / press 1btn daily thrice, then the battery would last about 3 months or more. When the battery voltage reaches 3V (full charge would be about 4.28V), 1btn wouldn’t complete the action anymore. If you press it at this time, it will keep blinking red. However, fear not, as soon as the battery voltage starts going below 3.2V, you to will start getting email alerts at every press/usage.
Normally 1 per 1btn. And we also provide time-based trigger feature which allows you to assign multiple actions to the same 1btn, and one or the other will be activated based on the time of day.
At the moment, no. At least not directly - this feature is one our to-do list, though. However, the webhook action effectively allows you to do this. For instance, a 1btn press can invoke your remote server script which, in turn, would do 2 or 20 or 200 things all-together.
The typical range is up to 50 meters, just like any other WiFi based device. If you have a strong WiFi router, the range can be greater.
Georg | March 1, 2017
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KNEWRON is a technology solutions' provider for connected devices, intelligent systems, and applications of the internet of things for commercial markets.
We have delivered many interesting and niche projects that involved multi-technology solutions. Developed and deployed several support tools, processes, and techniques that helped our customers achieve their objectives faster and better.
If you are working on (or wanting to work on) connected devices and systems aka IOT - do reach out to us!