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Programmable AWS IoT Button Sells Out in Hours

The limited release AWS IoT Button, designed to help developers use Internet of Things and other data-related services from Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), sold out last week just hours after being made available.

"Such amazing enthusiasm for the #AWS IoT Button!" exclaimed Amazon CTO Werner Vogels in a tweet Friday. "Sold out in a few hours. We are humbled! Sign up to get notified when the new ones arrive."

The button, based on the Amazon Dash Button designed to simplify the process of supply replenishment or ordering products, is a Wi-Fi device that can be programmed by developers interested in checking out services such as AWS IoT, AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon SNS without having to write device-specific code.

"You can code the button's logic in the cloud to configure button clicks to count or track items, call or alert someone, start or stop something, order services, or even provide feedback," the device's site states. "For example, you can click the button to unlock or start a car, open your garage door, call a cab, call your spouse or a customer service representative, track the use of common household chores, medications or products, or remotely control your home appliances.

The AWS IoT Button
The AWS IoT Button (source: Amazon)

"The button can be used as a remote control for Netflix, a switch for your Philips Hue light bulb, a check-in/check-out device for Airbnb guests, or a way to order your favorite pizza for delivery," the site says. "You can integrate it with third-party APIs like Twitter, Facebook, Twilio, Slack or even your own company's applications."

There was no word on how many devices were made available to begin with, but according to the Amazon sales site, it's "Currently unavailable." Futhermore, "We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock."

How It Works
[Click on image for larger view.] How It Works (source: AWS)

The site describes it thusly:

  • An easy way to get started with the Internet of Things, based on the Amazon Dash button hardware, the AWS IoT button is a developer kit that can be programmed to control internet-connected devices and services.
  • This programmable Wi-Fi button is designed to help developers learn how to use AWS IoT, AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Simple Notification Service and other Amazon Web Services.
  • Use the button to count items, track usage, initiate a call, send alerts or start and stop a process.
  • Eliminate the hassle of writing device-specific code; code in the cloud to configure your button's single, double, and long clicks.

The IoT service from AWS "is a managed cloud platform that lets connected devices easily and securely interact with cloud applications and other devices," according to its site. "AWS IoT can support billions of devices and trillions of messages, and can process and route those messages to AWS endpoints and to other devices reliably and securely. With AWS IoT, your applications can keep track of and communicate with all your devices, all the time, even when they aren't connected."

Hopefully sometime soon, that will be as easy as pushing a button. In the meantime, you can sign up here to be notified when it's back in stock.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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