Echo Buttons (2 buttons per pack) - A fun companion for your Echo
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
- Echo Buttons are an interactive way to play games and control smart home routines through your compatible Echo device.
- Choose from a catalog of 100+ compatible Alexa skills.
- Activate an Alexa smart home routine with the press of a button.
- Customize your own trivia game skill with Alexa Skill Blueprints.
- Easy setup with an Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Plus, or Echo Spot. Just ask, "Alexa, setup my Echo Buttons".
- Connect up to 4 buttons with compatible Echo devices using bluetooth
- Each Echo Button requires 2 AAA batteries. Includes 4 AAA batteries.
We want you to know:
Echo Buttons must be paired to, and within 30 feet of, a compatible Echo device. Echo Buttons are compatible with Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, Echo Spot, and Echo Input. Learn More about setup.
The Echo Buttons are NOT currently compatible with FireTV Cube, FireTV, Fire Tablets, Echo Dot Kids Edition, or Amazon Tap.
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The 2 AAA batteries for each button come pre-installed. You only need to pull out the paper tab, before using them for the first time. Pressing a button causes the it to briefly flash blue; as button press acknowledgement. Holding down the button for about 10 seconds, after the initial blue flash, causes the button to turn orange; as it enters Bluetooth pairing mode.
Like an Echo remote, each Echo Button can only be paired to 1 Echo device at a time. The easiest way to pair a button is to say "Alexa, setup my Echo Button" to the Echo device you want to pair the button with. To ensure pairing success, do not put the button into pairing mode, until Alexa gets to the part of the directions telling you to. And if you wait until the directions finish, a pairing failure is likely to occur. You can also manually pair the buttons, using the Alexa app.
Once a button is paired; you might notice something "strange" in the Bluetooth section of your Echo device's settings. Specifically, if you used the Alexa voice command to pair a button; it will show up in the list of paired devices ONLY if it is attached to an Alexa Routine, or if you manually paired it using the Alexa app. Otherwise it will not be listed, but will show up in the total number of paired devices count.
In my particular use for the buttons, I used Velcro to attach the buttons to the wall; near our front door, and used a P-touch label maker to label them as "Away" and "Home" (see pictures). I then created Alexa Routines to perform the necessary ingress & egress actions required.
When each button is pressed, they briefly flash blue to acknowledge the local button press. And once the Alexa Routine starts, they then flash a "long green" to acknowledge the routine is starting. Overall, the ability to use the buttons to initiate the start of a routine is probably going to be the killer application for the Echo Buttons.
Great fun, better than expected, but some quirks I didn’t expect!
- Great for game nights, sleep overs, etc
- no setup, no cleanup (after initial setup)
- Fun for two, couples or teams (supports 4 buttons)
- Alexa acts as facilitator - keeps score, manages tempo and when possible enforces rules (can lock buttons out, etc)
- Expect lots of new games as developers get access to Gadget skill development tools
- Initial setup: problems with Bluetooth pairing (see SETUP ADVICE below)
- It’s not perfect - she will misinterpret and/or use someone talking in the background for an answer
- Buttons don’t register the ‘quick push’ consistently. This leads answering a question meant for another team and skews the score (pay attention to the answer prompts - both voice and visual)
- No easy way to clean up a scoring error. Trivial pursuit can close a category, offer bonus question, all tied to someone yelling an answer out of turn etc.
Things we stress:
- Before answering, make sure your team’s button ‘Active’ and the one to receive credit with a correct answer.
- Press the button firmly. Sometimes a quick tap doesn’t register and you may end up answering for another team
- Allow one player to speak when Alexa prompts for the answer. It can be hard, but try and be quiet - (Alexa will pick up anyone’s voice who yells)
- Keep it light hearted, no wagering :) It’s not perfect and Alexa will occasionally misinterpret an answer (just like when I ask her to ‘turn the heat up’).
The one thing we found frustrating was when one of the above items occurred, and they will, there is no easy way to correct the scoring (hint - Amazon, allow developers to build real time game interface to Alexa app, and allow scoring adjustments to games currently in play).
These are a lot of fun, but manage expectations. Great platform to work with for the App/skill developers - I can’t wait to see what they come up with
TROUBLE SHOOTING, SETUP ADVICE (save time and frustration):
- Each button has a unique ID viewable in the Alexa App (after pairing): Settings>your Echo device name>(either Bluetooth or Echo Buttons)
- LABEL BUTTONS as each one pairs with last 2 characters of Bluetooth connect name. ***This is critical for troubleshooting (a must do if you have 4 buttons)
Like all Bluetooth devices, these will have disconnects. Problem is they don’t always recover and reconnect. The GOOD NEWS is with the BUTTONS LABELED you won’t have to unpair, forget and re-pair all buttons. Without the labels it’s impossible to know which button to remove from Bluetooth/Echo Button and re-pair.
- SYMPTOM: Button disconnects from Bluetooth and will not re-pair (will not light ‘orange’ indicating ‘ready to pair’). Most likely the Button is still partially connected to last device.
- PROBLEM: Under settings a paired BUTTON’s unique name appears in TWO places. When a Button is disconnected (manual or dropped Bluetooth), it often fails to disconnect from both places (‘Bluetooth’ or ‘Echo Buttons’). To verify see: Settings>your Echo device name>(either Bluetooth and/}or Echo Buttons)
- FIX: To complete the removal, and allow re-pairing, do the following: Under ‘Echo Buttons’ select ‘UNPAIR’ and under ‘Bluetooth’ select ‘FORGET DEVICE
- SYMPTOM: followed steps above but still won’t pair/re-pair
- FIX: When you have a button that’s still giving you problems, it can usually be resolved using the steps below. They all aren’t needed everytime, but you’ll save a lot of time in the long run. Using the Alexa App do the following:
FORGET DEVICE under ‘Bluetooth’ and UNPAIR under ‘Echo Button’
>Shut down Alexa App on all mobile devices (a second device trying to pair could issue)
>Reboot Echo device by unplugging for 10 seconds
>Remove batteries from problem button for 10 seconds, then reinstall
>NOW ATTEMPT TO RE-PAIR
***With multiple problem buttons, consider repeating steps after each successful pairing.
I paired, unpaired, and forgot Devices (Bluetooth) many, many times trying to recreate and debug the issues identified by myself and others. I then tested various solutions in an attempt to resolve as many issues as possible. The fix’s above resolved every issue I encountered, and the labeling really helped save time by making it easy to identify the failing button in the Alexa app. Of course this won’t fix a dead button, but you might find your button isn’t actually dead.
Hopefully this helps you get your Echo Buttons up and RUNNING! HAPPY HOLIDAY’S
**This is an in process review. I really like the buttons and I’ll share more later :)
Product seems to be stabilizing. I have not had a dropped connection since December that required intervention.
***ADDITIONAL/TIP: Verify and ensure Alexa/echo device is on latest software. (See comments at bottom of review for latest echo device software as of 2/6/18)
UPDATE: I got an unsolicited call from Amazon technical assistance to help solve the problem. We went through some trouble shooting on both the Echo Buttons and Echo and had this going correctly in no time. Turns out I just needed to reset everything and it’s been working perfectly since.
So far we’ve played Trivial Pursuit Tap and the buttons worked exactly as they were designed. These are going to be a blast with just me and my wife as well as small gatherings.
I would definitely recommend these products and am very grateful to the good people at Amazon who go out of their way to make sure that new devices like this do in fact launch successfully. You can rest assured that when buying this and other amazon devices that if you do stumble the way I did, they will be there to help. Way to go Amazon on another successful gadget!