Pushing a bt.tn button

The Internet Button

While perusing the various channels on IFTTT recently, I came across one for something called “bt.tn.” My curiosity led me to a Finnish site that sells a very interesting product: a large pushbutton that can control anything that is connected to the internet. The bt.tn comes in various colors and has both Wi-Fi and cellular models.

The operation from a user’s perspective could not be simpler. You push the spring loaded button down and it pops back up. LEDs placed around the button let you know that the button press has been transmitted successfully.

It is what happens behind the scenes that makes the bt.tn so versatile. Your button press can trigger an API or for the less programming-inclined, generate a trigger on IFTTT that can activate any one of hundreds of existing IFTTT channels. The possibilities are almost endless.

For instance, I have one bt.tn that when pressed turns off all the Z-Wave controlled lights in my house. Another bt.tn I have programmed sends an e-mail to one of our vendors with a required attachment. You could also use a bt.tn to operate electronic door locks, summon a taxi, or take a temperature reading and save it to a database. It provides a simple physical input to the connected world.

As much as I like this product, I do have a few small criticisms. The price is a little steep, at about $70 each with $18 shipping from Finland, although there are other options for quantity purchases. For almost $100 I expected a more solid unit. My first button was too loose and felt too much like a toy. The second bt.tn I purchased was noticeably tighter. The device is attractive but could use a bit more heft to give it a more professional feel.

Overall I’m impressed with the device and looking for more unique and interesting ways to put it to use. For more information, FAQ and to order, check out bt.tn.

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