With one week left on Indiegogo, bttn has managed to raise nearly €47,000 of their €50,000 goal. Helsinki-based The Button Corporation, which launched at Arctic15, produces what they call “the simplest user interface in the world” riding the trend of the Internet of Things, the growing layer of connectivity giving us new interfaces for us to talk to our toasters.
What crowdfunders get with a $99 preorder is… a button. But there’s more to it than that, the button connects to WiFi or 3G and pressing the button can then do any predefined task, such as sending an email, controlling your smart home devices, or pretty much anything else though easy-to-set-up IFTTT recipes or Zapier requests. And for those of you more technically inclined, you can use bttn’s REST api to plug it in to whatever you want.
This can all be controled though logging in to your bttn account where it looks like they’ve built a friendly back-end to get not-technically-inclined users hooking up buttons.
With such a general platform they give the examples of using bttn for your kid to send you a text message through an easy push-button when they get home, or in the office someone like us could use bttn to publish an article – which would be much more satisfying than hitting publish.
There’s something appealing about a big red button (or their other colors), especially with the design done by Harri Koskinen, the designer of the iconic block lamp. With so much attention put into the design and build quality, The Button Corporation clearly wants it to be a part of our every day lives.
One thing missing from the Internet of Things is that so far there’s no “killer app”, which is why most of my IoT metaphors are toaster related. But maybe the problem is in the lack of great interfaces to connect us to our devices and appliances; navigating through 5 taps on my phone to shut the window blinds is as much mental effort as getting up and just shutting them yourself.