FriDIY: Repurpose your ‘Easy’ button to send automated Slack alerts

FriDIY: Repurpose your ‘Easy’ button to send automated Slack alerts
Credit: Staples

If you’ve got one of those cute Staples ‘Easy’ buttons lying around, you can make it a lot more useful by fiddling with its innards and connecting it to Slack, like developer Nick Sypteras did.

Like many of us, Sypteras works at his desk with headphones on, and grew tired of being spooked by visitors making loud noises or waving in his face to get his attention. He found a solution in the ‘Easy’ button, which he hacked to send him an alert on Slack whenever a visitor pressed it.

Want to whip up your own desktop notification button? Just grab a soldering iron and an Adafruit microcontroller with Wi-Fi on board, and follow Sypteras’ fairly straightforward instructions. The button costs about $7, while the Adafruit Feather HUZZAH will set you back by about $16.

He’s even included the Micropython code he used to configure the Adafruit board and connect it to Slack’s API. You can, of course, tweak it to do other things; I’m thinking about setting one up at my co-working space so our lunch deliverywoman can buzz us all when she’s dropped off our meal.

Got any other bright ideas for hacking an ‘Easy’ button? Let us know in the comments.

"Easy" Desk Alert Button on Nick Sypteras

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