Getting physical aka physical buttons

LittleBits + IFTTT:


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Another option, also IFTTT-capable:


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Here’s another one:

https://www.spark.io/button

I see they have an example of monitoring the weight on a scale to tell you when a plate of cookies are gone. @insti did something similar (though not automated, I believe) to beemind their rationing of a bunch of candy. So many cool possibilities for automatically beeminding things in the physical world!

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Thanks for all the suggestions.

But, my god, are these things expensive. Flic is $30, spark.io/button is $50, bt.tn is ~$80 (?!). I never would have thought a piece of plastic with what should be the dumbest microcontroller could get this expensive.

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Oh, yeah, that will be nice when little buttons like that are a dime a dozen, which is clearly technologically possible when mass-produced.

I bet there are already ways to make this cheap. What about NFC tags that you touch your phone to without having to actually turn on your phone?

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Or just wait 5 years until they come in (on?) cereal boxes.

It might also be possible to do something with a game console controller or any number of other bluetooth type doodads, depending on how much electronics you can do or how much you hate wires.

What do you have lying around?

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Agreed. But it looks like spark is actually pretty fancy. And the flic supports three types of pressing. Really, bt.tn is the dumb interface I want (a button that you push and that’s it) but it’s the most expensive??

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I know this doesn’t get around having to use your phone, but what about using a QR code? You can set it up to send an e-mail using this site (haven’t tested the site).

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Alternatively, assuming you have a spare raspberry pie lying around you can buy a cheap screen and just wire up a button (I brought this screen: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/LCD-module-TFT-2-6-inch-for-Version-Raspberry-Pi-Project-Board-Model-B/32235165581.html which is less than half the price of any of those buttons including shipping from China). That way you can get a status from beeminder about your goals, which if any are EEPS, or whatever you wire it up to. If you are not limited by Danish import rules you can also buy a touch screen that is about 22 dollars and you don’t have to wire anything up.

In theory you can also do it with an aduino but I don’t want to try to encode json over an HTTPS connection on 4k of ram (or whatever the Aduino has).

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I remembered some other reasons why I want this:

  • When I wake up, I’d love to need to hit a button somewhere very, very far from my bed – possibly somewhere that involves putting on clothes
  • When I get in to work, I’d love to need to hit a button to show I’m in at a certain time
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Why a physical button? Could use geo-location, via a foursquare (swarm) checkin or the ifttt app’s built-in locator. That’s how I enter my ‘gym’ datapoints, for instance.

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For geo-locations that have wifi, I have gotten better accuracy by using Tasker’s wifi SSID matching to start/stop timers when the wifi is in range. Or, you could have Tasker submit a +1 if you connect to the gym’s wifi before a certain time in the morning and 0.5 if you’re late (or whatever you want).

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If you “just” need to scan a button to be honest (that is my number one or two favourite feature of Sleep as Android, no turning the alarm of and staying in bed) then grap an nfc chip or get a qr code printed and just stick it on/near the place you need to be. Sure you could go make a new qr code on your computer (if you remember what it should be called) but that is so much more annoying than just doing what you wanted to in the first place.

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Well, if you already have raspberry pi, why not get a simple big red button? https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9181

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IFTTT’s new Do button might fit the bill if you used a dedicated tablet. And it’s pretty useful regardless.

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Another promising candidate: Signul. Not a physical button but beacons that can trigger based on microlocation, as they put it.

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Yet another physical button kickstarter. Personally, I’ve found IFTTT’s Do button app to be good enough for me to remember to log 20 oz to beeminder each time I finish my water bottle, but a physical button may be more desirable in some cases.

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In the spirit of two birds with one stone, your ‘button’ could be a Withings scale located as far as possible from your bed or travelling a certain distance away from your house as measured by a fitness tracker.

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Eh, I think Droplet is trying to be too smart. There’s already tons of awesome software out there. The last thing I need is a physical button that wants you to use its apps or its way of doing things. The string “integrat” doesn’t appear on the page either…

But thanks for the heads up! :slight_smile:

I had a hunch Droplet might have just neglected to include stuff about integrations so I contacted them and got an awesome response:

Our IFTTT channel is in development, and an API is on the roadmap. I’m not sure why we haven’t got this on the FAQ yet. I’ll go berate Sohan momentarily. Thanks for the tip!
A Droplet-Beeminder integration would be AWESOME […] we are targeting the Quantified Self crowd as well, so if your Queen is interested please send her our way!
Last: I’m obsessed with bees! Check out a project I did a million years ago (if you want):
www.furiousindustries.com
Thanks for getting in touch!

I think I’ll back it! And it’s super exciting that one way or another there are about to be a ton of options for physical buttons and other ways to mind autodata from the real world. (Huge thanks to @djahandarie for starting this thread!)

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