IoT Button Roundup

What is an IoT Button?

An IoT button is a piece of hardware that sends data to the cloud when you press a button; a serverless application then takes an action or series of actions based on the information that is sent when the button is clicked.

What Can I do with an IoT Button?

Your serverless app can run a simple 1-task function, such as:

  • Send an email  
  • Send an SMS  

AWS’s One Click and IoT Button apps make it painless to set up serverless apps that perform seamlessly in the cloud

Create Serverless App Workflows

Your serverless app runs on a series of functions, which creates a workflow  

Common Example Workflow

Imagine that you are a representative for a wine distribution company

One of your customers is running low on stock between your regular visits.

The First Action:

In the stockroom, next to cases of a particular wine, a button tied to the SKU for that wine is positioned on the shelf. When the manager realizes the store is running low on stock, she presses the button – just 1-click!. The wine rep receives an email letting him know that the store is running low on stock for this item.

The rep knows all of the relevant information about the product: the SKU and the typical quantity this customer orders.

The Second Action:

An order is automatically placed in the distributor’s ordering system.

The Third Action:

An SMS is sent back to the customer letting them know the order has been placed and when it will ship.

Create Dynamic Serverless Apps

Using the Twilio API we can ask the customer, via a phone call, how many cases of wine they would like to order.


What About the Buttons?

Now that we have covered what buttons are and what they can do, let’s review the types of buttons out there.

Wi-Fi Buttons

If you are mainly going to be using your buttons in one place and have a wi-fi network available, the AWS Buttons might be a good bet for you.

AWS IoT Button

Use this button and the AWS ButtonDevApp to develop your serverless apps and test them with the button. You can let your users change the wi-fi Networks the buttons work on with the AWS IoT Button Wi-Fi App.

You can purchase this button from Amazon.

AWS Enterprise Button

Once you have developed and tested your Serverless apps, the AWS Enterprise Button is a great choice. It uses the AWS 1-Click infrastructure to keep track of and manage the buttons. The app, available from the Google Play store or Apple’s App store, allows you to easily claim a bunch of buttons at once and enable them.

You can purchase this button from Amazon.

Bluetooth Buttons

These buttons require a gateway or a device that captures the bluetooth signals from the buttons and transmits them over the Internet where they can initiate a server less app. You can learn more about gateways in our Bluetooth Gateway Roundup

LTE-M Buttons

The last category of buttons are those that register the button click using the special M2M networks provided by all of the cellular carriers. These devices are much, much cheaper than traditional cellular plans as they are intended for devices that send very small amounts of data.

The AT&T LTE-M Button

This is by far the easiest to set up of the M2M buttons. The button is supported by the AWS 1-Click Service; the cellular service is already included in the cost of this button.

Estimote LTE-M Beacon

This product is meant for developers and works with the Estimote’s Events API. The unit runs javascript microapps on the device itself, and can call code for those apps from the cloud via the cellular network. In addition to the button functionality that is described earlier in this video, you can program this device to act as a GPS tracker or a BLE gateway.

You can purchase the Estimote LTE-M Beacon from their website

AT&T LTE-M Starter Kit

Your imagination is your only limit with this unit. Also meant for developers, it has several programmable buttons in addition to heat and humidity sensors as well as an on board accelerometer  You can also use expansion boards with this unit.

You can purchase this unit from AT&T’s IoT Store

Simplify Your Work Tasks with Help from Revolution11

Now that you have a pretty good idea of the varied and fascinating IoT products and services along with a better understanding of what these buttons are and what they can do — there’s bound to be a button for you! WIth so many ways of connecting to the cloud to run important IoT applications let Revolution11 get you started with any project, big or small. Ping us at to get going today!

Download a PDF of this blog here: IoT Button Roundup

IoT Button Roundup

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