Using Bluetooth Camera Shutter Buttons, Selfie Sticks, etc as Smart Buttons?

I assume this thought has occurred here already, but can’t find it. Sorry if repeating…

This is yet another attempt, on my part, to find a cheap way of having smart buttons to interact with lights, fans, etc.

Does anybody know if these kinds of devices can be integrated with SmartThings in some way?

One thing I’m wondering is this…I know they are battery powered, and that’s not ideal, but are these kinds of devices ‘always-on’, or do they only turn on when a button is pressed (I guess I could get one and test that myself, but…)?

If they are NOT ‘always on’, that’s great.

Next, is there any simple/easy way of somehow listening for and intercepting the transmission and using it as a trigger for some action?

If this can be done, then we may have another super-cheap way of making usable Bluetooth smart buttons for lights, etc.


SmartThings has no Bluetooth capability yet

The shortest answer is no, not as you describe, because the hub cannot detect Bluetooth at the present time as its Bluetooth radio is not enabled.

Also, there’s a security feature to the Bluetooth protocol – – you can’t have just any device listen and react to it. They have to be paired together. That’s why it matters that the Bluetooth radio in the hub is not enabled. If it were enabled, we’d presumably be able to pair devices to it and we’d have a lot more options.

But wait-- an android phone could act as a man in the middle and capture the Bluetooth events

The longer answer is yes, just use an android device, pair it to the button, have it detect the Bluetooth event, and use a combination of Tasker/sharptools to tie it into smartthings. A number of community members use this with all kinds of different Bluetooth devices including the satechi button. @joshua_lyon could probably say more about this option.

See for example:

and some Bluetooth devices, like flic buttons, come with an android or iOS app that can capture the Bluetooth event and communicate via IFTTT

And the medium answer is that there has to be something that can be paired to the button and recognize the Bluetooth event when the button is pressed. If the Bluetooth device talks to your phone and the app that captures it is able to communicate either via Wi-Fi or with IFTTT, again, super easy. This is exactly how people use Flic buttons with smartthings. This method will work with either iOS or Android because the key is that the receiving app already knows how to then talk to IFTTTT or harmony or your Wi-Fi. Many Ibeacons, which use Bluetooth, also have apps that run on phones or tablets that can use the IFTTT maker channel. But there’s no general answer for this particular approach, it just depends on each receiving app.


So with android you can do it with most Bluetooth devices. With iOS, you can do it with those devices that come with an app that has external communication abilities, particularly to IFTTT.

(by the way, to answer one of your questions, almost all Bluetooth button devices activate only with the button press – – otherwise they’d run through batteries too quickly. The receiving station, though, is usually always on, but that’s why that’s typically a phone or tablet.)


I swear…it seems like almost every time I ask a question and you’re the one that answers, the depth and quality of the response is so extensive that it almost seems like you’re an encyclopedia (one that’s kept up-to-date instantly and automatically ‘behind the scenes’) that’s always sitting there, ready to serve.

So, once again, thank you, @JDRoberts :slight_smile:

Oh…needless to say, this (what you wrote above) is very helpful, and I hope to be able to put some time into testing some of this sometime soon…


I think that part’s a given. :wink:

I do not, however, promise to be awake. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


HA! :slight_smile: lol

@JDRoberts couple more quick questions? …I know I obviously have yet another reading project on my plate (which I will get to), but…

  1. How’s the delay?
    I assume there would be an IFTTT-sized delay (which, for most of my automations, is unacceptable) if somehow using IFTTT in the mix, but for those going the route that uses wall-mounted Droids as Bluetooth receiving stations communicating with SmartThings via SharpTools/Tasker, etc, how does that seem to work…as far as any delay beyond the norm is concerned?

  2. Double-tap Necessary?
    In a post somewhere (probably in a thread you just linked me to), I noticed that, with one particular type of product that was being discussed, the user is required to press it once just to ‘wake’ it, and then press to trigger the automation.
    Is that universal with battery powered Bluetooth devices, or only the ones that ‘sleep’…or do they all have to sleep i.e. the whole battery drain thing?

They almost all sleep between uses, but most don’t need the extra tap to wake up.

As far as android, you’ll need to hear from someone who’s using those. :sunglasses:

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