I've written before about the awesomeness that is a HomeKit programmable button. In HomeKit terms, programmable buttons are devices that can trigger different scenes and actions for your various HomeKit-enabled accessories. Depending on the button, different gestures can trigger different actions. Put in physical terms, you hit the button and stuff happens in your house: You might have it set up to turn on all the lights in your kitchen, turn down the thermostat, or lock the front door — the possibilities are endless!
They're a great addition to any smart home setup — particularly if you have guests or folks who'd rather not use their voice or phone to control the lights. A programmable button is a great way for guests and roomies to control lighting and an easy way to add complex automations to your setup.
Fibaro just recently announced that its programmable button — The Button — is now compatible with HomeKit. The device was announced at CES 2018, and allows users to activate HomeKit scenes with a single press.
Aesthetically, the Button just screams "button." It also just screams "please press me" in a way that's irresistible to children … and adults with the impulsiveness of children (i.e. me). It comes in three colors — black, white, and bright red — and looks like a retro cartoon of a button you aren't supposed to press, which absolutely makes you want to use it that much more.
It's less than two inches in size so it's pretty versatile space-wise, and it can be mounted anywhere you like as it's completely wireless and doesn't require a gateway, hub, or bridge of any kind. The device uses Bluetooth LE, so you can count on it working even when your Wi-Fi isn't being particularly cooperative. The simplicity of its design also makes it extremely accessible for children, seniors, or those with disabilities who may struggle to operate more complicated controllers.
Functionally, each Button recognizes three distinct actions that work with other smart devices in your home. Depending on your individual needs, it can be programmed to "turn off the lights with one click, lock a smart door lock with two clicks, or trigger a customized scene by holding it down." Or, if you prefer, you can just do three separate scenes — for instance, a good morning that turns on the lights, radio, and coffee maker; a goodnight scene that dims the lights, turns on nightlights, and activates white noises on your favorite smart speaker; and a goodbye scene that turns of select electronic devices, closes the blinds, and locks the door. According to Fibaro, the Button is also equipped with a confirmation feature that causes it to buzz audibly depending on the type of click you use to let you know you've done it correctly. And if you don't feel like that's something you need, you can also choose to turn it off.
If you'd like to get your hands on a Button (or a few?) to add to your smart home setup, you can snag one on from Apple or Amazon … or both! It's up to you. Each button is priced at $59.95.
Does a HomeKit-enabled programmable button interest you? What if it's bright red and is just begging for you to press it? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below or over on Twitter!
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Tory Foulk is a writer at Mobile Nations. She lives at the intersection of technology and sorcery and enjoys radio, bees, and houses in small towns. When she isn't working on articles, you'll likely find her listening to her favorite podcasts in a carefully curated blanket nest. You can follow her on Twitter at @tsfoulk.