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Next time you need IT, just tap a button.
Amazon’s Dash Button is a nifty idea. Instead of opening the Amazon website to re-order a home staple, you place a Wi-Fi-connected button in your home. When you’re almost out of toilet paper or cat litter or what have you, just tap the button to automatically order some more. If only everything in life were as easy as tapping a button.
The Go Button, one company’s take on the Amazon Dash Button, hopes to take on that task. While you can program your own Dash button—to do things like act as a light switch, automatically order pizza, and more—you need to be comfortable with programming and Amazon AWS. The Go Button, built on Amazon’s own Dash Button hardware, aims to simplify this kind of customization. Rather than wrangling code yourself, you just use Go Button’s accompanying app to customize what your button does.
Visybl, the team behind the Go Button, envisions this device being used in all sorts of different productivity scenarios. (Visybl makes smart monitoring solutions for tracking company assets). In hotel rooms, you could use it to call room service or housekeeping. In an office setting, you could schedule a package pickup. You could quickly ping a superior or subordinate. You could also use it to better streamline workflows within a team. Instead of sending a chat message or email when tasks are accomplished, you just tap a button and move on. You also get feedback to ensure your request went through—green if so, red if there was an issue.
It’s certainly an interesting idea. Using a button like this, you could save time on a variety of tasks. (As an intern, for example, I had to call FedEx to pickup packages on the regular. Such a button would have been great to save a few minutes those days.) However, translating the myriad of applications that a smart button could be used for into an easy-to-use mobile app sounds like a daunting task. And in reality, there are a variety of existing solutions, such as IFTTT and other smart buttons, which can be used to automate actions without even needing a physical button.
Still, for situations where you’re not necessarily near a computer or phone, the Go Button could be incredibly handy.
Unfortunately, the Go Button isn’t available just yet. Pre-orders will begin via Kickstarter on June 2, and the Go Button should start shipping in September. For updates on the Go Button, you can sign up at its website.
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.