AT&T has introduced a new Internet of Things (IoT) product called the LTE-M Button that allows users to trigger a function in Amazon Web Services (AWS) Lambda with one press of a button. In contrast to devices like the Amazon Dash Button—which function in effectively the same way—AT&T's solution is capable of operating anywhere an LTE signal is available, as it does not rely on a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signal to operate.
In addition to the Amazon Dash Button use case—ordering a product with one click of a button—AT&T also envisions other use cases, including sending alerts from trash cans to signal when they are full and need to be picked up, receiving customer feedback, and for seniors to "check in with caregivers on health status and call for medication."
AT&T touts the button as being IP66-rated, and capable of detecting single, double, and long-press clicks. It can also give feedback using a tri-color LED. AT&T rates the lifespan of the button as being 1,500 clicks, or 3 years from the date of purchase, whichever comes first. It is powered by two AA batteries, which are not replaceable. For the first 5,000 orders, AT&T is selling the button from their IoT Marketplace for $29.99, with the price increasing to $34.99 thereafter.
SEE: Enterprise IoT calculator: TCO and ROI (Tech Pro Research)
AT&T's button is releasing alongside Amazon's IoT Enterprise 1-Click button. While hardware-wise, this device is identical to Amazon's consumer-facing Dash buttons, the IoT Enterprise button costs $19.99, much like the existing Developer button. It has a lifespan of 2,000 clicks.
With the Amazon duo, a simplified toolkit is available for organizations to more easily adopt IoT. The 1-Click manager does not require programming knowledge, as the device can be configured to perform actions based on templates, such as "send SMS" or "send email" as needed, though this can be expanded to view the underlying Lambda command as needed.
The devices are preconfigured with with X.509 certificates, and encrypt data before transmitting it to Amazon. While the Amazon button can be used in the US, Canada, and Japan, the AT&T button is only available for use in the US.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- AT&T is releasing an LTE-M connected button which, used in conjunction with AWS Lambda, can be configured to perform specific tasks.
- A simplified Amazon toolkit is available for organizations to more easily adopt IoT. The 1-Click manager does not require programming knowledge.
- Special report: Harnessing IoT in the enterprise (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- KT launches NB-IoT-based child monitoring service (ZDNet)
- Alexa Skills: Cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Re:Invent 2017: AWS all about capturing data flows via AI, Alexa, database, IoT cloud services (ZDNet)
- AWS IoT Analytics helps users quickly grok device and sensor data in the cloud (TechRepublic)
James Sanders is a Tokyo-based programmer and technology journalist. Since 2013, he has been a regular contributor to TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research.