Buttons buttons buttons


(Mr. Smith) #1

There is a severe shortage of button options out there. Sure would be nice to have a simple single stick-anywhere button that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and has good battery life.

I have a handful of what’s available and they are all either over-designed, batteries die in a month, overly complex, or are breathtakingly expensive.

What are the thoughts in the community? Would be great to get a new design off the ground and into manufacturing. I have the idea I just need a design, a manufacturer, and - oh yea - an investor.

THoughts?

mr.smith


#2

There are a couple dozen available, I think most people can find something. Have you had a chance to look at the buttons FAQ?

If you haven’t done hardware design before, as the saying goes, “hardware is hard.” Once you have a working prototype (preferably with a patent pending), these days most people just go to kickstarter to raise financing.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #3

In other words, respectfully, you have nothing. The technical term is “vaporware”, though I don’t even think you have vapor.

There are quite a few simple (and less simple) smart buttons on the market. The reason there aren’t more tends not to be because of any technological hurdles (Philips Hue “Taps” don’t need batteries because they are powered by the dynamic movement energy when pressed!); but the perceived lack of a market that will be willing to pay for the effort and risks that a company faces to bring the product to market.

Start counting Kickstarter & IndieGogo failures and you’ll see plenty of failed brilliant ideas. Even those with plenty of “backers” (which helps indicate market viability) … but the number of backers is a tiny fraction of the number of real customers who are required for the product/company to be sustainable. Most projects on Kickstarter fail to move on to the next step: acquiring the huge amount of venture capital to keep going.


Please forgive my rant. We’d be nowhere without visionaries. SmartThings was a successful Kickstarter - but more importantly, they raised millions in venture capital. Yet even with their very rich parent (Samsung) and a million Hub users at their fingertips, ST hasn’t felt inclined to build and sell the “ultimate smart button”…

Why not?


(Ron Talley) #4

Check out the Xiaomi Buttons. Tricky to pair but they are cheap and simple.


#5

I very much agree with you, but also understand what “tgauchat” says about market need. Also, my personal requirements are that it also fit in with the look of the rest of the switches in my house, that anyone can figure out how to use it, and not be an obnoxious blob hanging on the wall that everyone asks “what’s THAT thing?” I settled on the Aspire 9500, but it IS expensive and I don’t really like the tactile response, or “feel” of the switch, but it works and has been pretty reliable.


(Glen King) #6

I dunno. Where SmartThings is concerned, I’m not a fan of buttons. To me, it’s the opposite of automation.

And then, inexpensive android smart phones are available for $15. One device can function as many buttons… so I see an individual button as very much beside the point in a system like this.

JMO of course.


#7

Different things work for different people. :sunglasses:

At our house, we use a lot of different kinds of buttons. We are three housemates, we each have friends and family who come over, plus health aides for me. We definitely don’t want to install apps for each of these people. We also want some actions to be really obvious and intuitive for some of these guests, not all of whom even have smart phones. In addition, it’s nice for my service dog to be able to do some actions on request. So we will have buttons or switches where people will expect to find switches, plus some additional ones for the dog.

My preference is to use voice, but sometimes it’s late at night and you don’t want to wake anybody else up, a guest may not realize that voice is an option.

Buttons of the right type are also useful in households with little kids or little kid visitors.

I’m not saying everyone will need a button, but some people will find them a useful addition for some use cases. :sunglasses::dog:


(Jimmy) #8

SmartThings is coming out with their own branded button. Maybe it will fit your needs :man_shrugging:


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #9

Where, what, when?


(Jimmy) #10

(Jimmy) #11

Just realized its magnetic too


(ᵇᶥᵍ ШΞΒȘГẬŚ (Webstas)) #12

This is exactly what i was looking for, i hope its reasonably priced


(Ron Talley) #13

Everyone has their choices. I have used various other buttons and I must say that the Xiaomi Buttons are not only $6.59 each but are not ugly by no means.

Pictures are not to focus on the button itself but give a perceptive as to how it looks on the wall relative to other Smart Devices.


(Mark C) #14

do you need Xiaomi gateway/hub for the Buttons?


(Ron Talley) #15

No, just the correct DTH and instructions on how to pair. I posted a link to the thread above.


(Mr. Smith) #16

RE: Xiaomi buttons… I bought two of these only to learn that the ones I received would not compatible with Smarthings. They went right into the trash.


#17

Recommend Xiaomi buttons… I bought 2 and have them working fine with the existing Smarthings integration that is available. Very cheap and pretty reliable though pairing them requires patience and a lot of pressing. I have one downstairs that turns off all lights at bedtime with 1 hit and have one upstairs that is for turning every light in the house on during the night should there ever be a need.


(Michael Salerno) #18

Can always hack an Amazon Dash Button


#19

I was reading about amazon dash buttons the other day, what is the life span of one button since the batteries are non-replaceable?


(Michael Salerno) #20

barry life is pretty good since the device it self only wakes up when the button is pressed.