Physical automation button triggers?

I have a few NFC tags around my flat that are configured to do a simple web request to log data (timestamps mostly) to an online database when I scan them with my phone. This works but it’s a bit of a hassle because I don’t always have my phone with me when I’m at my home so I was thinking, why do I even need a phone for this since I’m not sending any data?

I have a Hue bridge (the non-Bluetooth ones), Apple TV HomeKit hub, and an always on Raspberry Pi. Are there any “buttons” that will integrate with this setup easily that I could set up to run a curl command on the Raspberry Pi when pressed? Preferably they would be cheap as I’d want to get like 20+ of them.

There are flic buttons that are designed to do things like this, but I wouldn’t necessarily flag them as cheap.

Pushcut Automation Server a possibility?

Yikes. You can buy 15 of them, but it works out to about $30/each.

1 Like

You used to be able to buy Amazon Dash buttons and reprogram them.

Some time ago I bookmarked this thread on Reddit:

I’ve not tried any of them yet, but would like to!

I do have a few Logitech Pop buttons running around, but they’re not very cheap and you have to buy a bridge with them to get them up and running.

1 Like

It looks like it was almost a year ago (tempus fugit) that they stopped being available to purchase. I guess that might make them hard to get in bulk.

And even if you could get them I wouldn’t recommend it - once the Amazon app drops support for connecting them to the WiFi you’ll be very stuck. But as a starting point for searches it might not be a bad place :slight_smile:

1 Like

It’s a shame StreamDeck isn’t WiFi or bluetooth.

The reason I say that is it seems to me the high price is because of how much electronics needs to be packed into a button for it to be standalone. Amortise (much of) that over several buttons and the price per button could go way down per button.

A WiFi StreamDeck in every room would be a fine thing.

Oh my… yeah. That would be amazing.

1 Like

You might be to able to pull it off using a Streamdeck hooked up to a Raspberry Pi Zero.

1 Like

What? One per room? :slight_smile:

“But Jesus turned, and said unto him, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan’…”


A few years ago, I backed a project on Kickstarter for some lovely Bluetooth buttons. The project completed successfully, and I’ve got one on my desk right now. They’re gorgeous:

And, you can still buy them.

You pair the unit with software you run on your Mac. Once paired, the meaning of the four buttons can be customized in the Mac app. The buttons just send out a simple signal; all of the smarts is in the Mac app, which is pretty decent. More details about what you can use them for here:

To specifically answer your (O.P.'s) question about being able to trigger a curl request: Yes you can! Indeed, that’s all I use it for, making curl requests to webhooks I’ve set up on my home automation system (Home Assistant, not HomeKit). Here’s an example:

(New user, can’t post a second image, alas. I’ll see if I can in a second comment.)

At $39 each, they’re not cheap. And you’re dependent on the software continuing to work, I suppose. But they are lovely to look at, and handle, and very flexible. The battery is easily replaced. I expect to be using mine for years.

Here’s an example of a custom script assigned to TurnTouch button:

I have to use curl for this purpose, because the webhooks require a POST request. (So I can’t just use the Hit URL option.)

I have two TurnTouch devices. I almost never use them - as they don’t have the visual cues that a StreamDeck does. (I also used an external numeric keypad but stopped once I got my first StreamDeck - for the same reason.)

I now have the baby StreamDeck and the medium-sized one. One day I might get the big one. :slight_smile:

The various StreamDecks are marvelous tools for complex automations and controls. They’re not so good for sitting unobtrusively on your coffee table or nightstand. :slight_smile: And they’re overkill if all you want is a button that fires an event for other things to notice.

The TurnTouch is definitely a limited use device. But if all you want is a couple buttons that say “Me!” when pressed, and it’s up to other tools or systems to decide what that shout means, they work well enough. At least for me.

1 Like

I agree with the obtrusiveness point. I would twist it slightly to say portability as I occasionally take my laptop with Streamdecks plugged in downstairs. :slight_smile: