Amazon Dash buttons offer customers of the online retailer an easy way to order frequently purchased items with a push of a button. You might not know that Amazon also offers the technology to developers to expand the use of the web-connected buttons beyond e-commerce. That’s what Maryland-based startup Visybl is trying to do.
The company partnered with Amazon in March to develop the Dash button technologies under its own cloud infrastructure, and to expand the button’s capabilities. Visybl says the possibilities are endless: for example you could use a button to call for help, notify a shipper that a package is ready for shipment, or even notify the office that coffee is ready in the break room.
“Imagine how many repetitive, or complex tasks can be replaced with a single click of a button within an office, hospital, hotel, restaurant, retail store, or a warehouse,” Visybl’s co-founder and chief technical officer Arun Nedun said of the project in March.
To launch development of the IoT button, the company launched a Kickstarter to fund development. For as little as $29, backers would be able to get one of the first “Help” or “OK” buttons Visybl produces. Higher levels would allow for customized buttons, as well as multiples, including a special 50-pack aimed at small businesses.
Buttons are programmed through a companion app, and like the traditional Dash buttons, it only needs access to a Wi-Fi network in order to operate. Users can set limits to the amount of times a button can be activated in a certain period, and the buttons themselves should last for approximately 2,000 clicks.
Visybl says that the buttons will work with several popular services out of the box including Mailchimp, Slack, Google Sheets, Office 365, and Salesforce. IFTTT integration is also planned, as well as compatibility with Samsung’s SmartThings connected home platform.
“We just can’t wait to see what type of repetitive tasks will be replaced by a click of a button,” Nedun says.
Shipment of the first buttons will start in September, with all backer orders expected to be fulfilled by the end of the year. Visybl did not immediately specify what its future plans for wider-scale availability might be, although it appears at least at first its Dash-like buttons are intended more for business use.
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