ButtonBoard is a tiny round-shaped board based on the ESP-01F WiFi IoT module (ESP8285), equipped with a BME280 air pressure, humidity, and temperature sensor, an IMU sensor, and designed for wearables electronics projects.
- Wireless module – ESP-01F module with ESP8285 Tensilica L106 microcontroller @ 80/160 MHz with 2.4GHz WiFi connectivity, PCB antenna; package: 11 x 10 mm
- USB – Micro USB port
- Bosch Sensortec BME280 pressure, temperature, and humidity sensor, and altimeter.
- IMU sensor
- Expansion – Through holes for up to 10x GPIOs, I2C, SPI, USART
- Misc – Reset button
- Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port; onboard power management
- Dimensions – About 3cm diameter
The ButtonBoard can be programmed with the Arduino IDE via USB or WiFi, MicroPython, Lua, and Scratch, and they also mention support for ChatGPT through the current API, but I could not find any code samples at this time. They do have a basic getting started guide, some YouTube videos showing the board in action, and some lists of projects but without any instructions, at least at the time of writing.
While the developers are big fans of photoshopped images and AI-generated videos based on the content of the Kickstarter page, they still shared some real photos of the board there and by email. While the tiny ButtonBoard is not breadboard-friendly it can still be used with one.
Some of the potential projects for the ButtonBoard include:
- Wearable devices such as fitness tracker
- Model rockets – The ButtonBoard can be placed inside a rocket to log data from the sensors
- TinyML projects using the sensor data from the IMU or environmental sensor
- Smart Home applications with extra hardware for facial recognition, motion detection, and locking mechanisms
- Education – Simple circuitry and Arduino programming
We previously covered several round boards based on either ESP8266 (e.g. Roundy with 3.24cm diameter) or ESP32 (e.g. LILYGO T-RGB ESP32-S3 or Seeed Studio’s Round Display for Xiao), but they all come with a display by default and sensors may or may not be included.
You’d think a round WiFi IoT board without a display would be cheaper, but it’s not the case here, and the ButtonBoard goes for $44 on Kickstarter. Shipping adds an extra $30, so paying $74 for an ESP8285 board, even with sensors, look excessive. There’s a separate pledge for $100 with two ButtonBoards and an e-book about wearable electronic projects and codes for the boards. The funding target is $10,000 for the project, and that will probably be a challenge. I can see an even smaller “realButton” board based on the same ESP-01F module that is only slightly larger than a typical cloth button in the works, but it’s not offered on Kickstarter just yet.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.