Telefonica wants users to push its IoT buttons – Mobile World Live

Telefonica wants users to push its IoT buttons

24 JUN 2015

Telefonica unveiled two early customers for a new service which enables end-users to place an order, be it pizzas, parcels or a cab, by simply pressing a physical button.

Seur, a Spanish parcel delivery firm, will deploy the smart buttons, which contain a global SIM card, so its customers can more easily arrange to have packages picked up. The service will be available for business clients, both large and small, that use its standard services and frequent collection requests.

A pilot of this service is available on the Seur website and will launch in Madrid from September. It will likely be expanded throughout the rest of Spain eventually.

Meanwhile another Spanish firm, Cabify, is using the buttons to speed up cab ordering. By pressing a Cabify button users can choose the type of vehicle they want, print a receipt with the name and number of the driver and receive details of the car and driver assigned to collect them.

The smart buttons were developed by Telefonica I + D, the operator’s R&D unit headquartered in Madrid. They do not need a smartphone or PC to operate because they have an integrated SIM. This also means users do not need to reconfigure the buttons to connect with a Wi-Fi network or a device. Instead they work immediately, claims the operator. The button is based on the operator’s Thinking Things Open, an IoT platform designed for quick set up of ecosystems.

The buttons can work anywhere in the world because the SIM is global, which simplifies deployment for large multinationals. For instance, Cabify intends to offer its buttons in the other countries in which it operates, including Mexico, Peru and Chile.

Telefonica briefly mentioned its smart button concept earlier this month. It sounds reminiscent of Amazon’s announcement earlier this year of a Dash button that users attach to household devices and press to top up everyday items, such as washing powder. Actually, Telefonica was conducting a trial with Telepizza at the back end of 2014.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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