As you may or may not know, I’m a big fan of of wireless buzzer buttons. I once built some myself and actually tried releasing them through Kickstarter, but failed. We were too focused on the hardware rather than showing our games. We learned some valuable lessons from that experience, but the project currently sits on my shelf.
Anyway, I was stumped as Amazon announced they were going to sell wireless buzzer buttons! If I could repurpose them, I could use the Amazon Buttons with my software. That would lower my costs significantly and I could get the project running again (building software only). I had to get my hands on some.
As you can see, the buttons don’t have a real “click” mechanism: just 3 soft touch points. Hitting the button doesn’t give as much satisfaction as I hoped.
Now how can I connect them to my own trivia software instead of the Amazon Echo? I thought they were going to show up on LightBlue, a BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) scanner for iOS, but they didn’t. What, are these not Bluetooth buttons? Looking up their FCC ID revealed that they are indeed using Bluetooth but its not clear what version or protocol.
Sniffing the Echo Buttons
To figure out what nifty, do-not-connect-to-our-buttons-scheme they used, I bought the BLE sniffer from Adafruit. I first had to find my old Windows laptop as the software runs best on Windows. After scanning…