One of my favorite things about Initial State is the ability to send data from multiple devices to one dashboard. In my last post, I showed you how to create a scoreboard w/ Amazon Alexa. This time we’re going to be adding to that same scoreboard, but instead of with our echo, we’re going to be using the DO button app.
This is great because now I can add points to our team board outside the office. Now, if someone sends me an extra funny gif on Slack, or tells a great joke at a team lunch, I can just whip out my phone and add to their score.
Project Difficulty: So easy, yo grandmama could do it
What you’ll need to complete this project:
1. Initial State
2. An IFTTT Account
3. The DO Button App on your phone
Extra note: Completing the previously posted Alexa scoreboard tutorial is not necessary to create a scoreboard with the DO app and Initial State. I refer to it a handful of times to show you an example of how you can use multiple applications to add data to the same bucket and tiles. If you have a way you’re adding points to a dashboard outside of Alexa and The DO App then I’d love to see it!!
Step 1: Initial State
Signing up for Initial State is easy! Just go to initialstate.com/register to create your account. Type in your email, password, click register and you’re done!
You can watch this video if you’d like a walk through of how to sign up:
Create a bucket:
Create a Home for Your DO Button Data OR use the same bucket you created from the Alexa tutorial. If you’ve already done the Alexa tutorial, you don’t have to do this step again. You can just use the same API URL Endpoint when you get to the DO app.
1. Click the cloud icon in the top right of your bucket menu to create a new https bucket.
2. You can name yours anything you wish. Mine is named “Points.”
3. Click Configure Endpoint Keys
4. Optionally, to make it easier to recognize my API endpoint key, I changed my bucket key to Team-Scoreboard
5. Below that, you can change your access key if you wish. Using whichever one pops up is fine
6. Click create
The DO Button
As you can tell from my last few posts, I’ve been having a lot of fun using IFTTT. They’ve created an app called, “The DO Button.” It’s pretty self explanatory in that it’s a button that, once pressed, does stuff. You can program this button to do just about anything. I’m going to program mine to add points to the dashboard I created in the Alexa tutorial.
1. You’ll need to create an IFTTT account to use the app. So if you haven’t already, sign up for IFTTT here: https://ifttt.com/join
2. Go to the app store on your phone, and download the DO Button
3. Once you open the app, log in with your IFTTT account, and it will give you a test button. Test it out and see the wonderment that is DO.
4. You’ll see a mortar and pestle shadowing looking icon in the bottom right. Press that, and it will take you to the screen you see below.
5. You can see I’ve already created a ton of buttons. Go ahead, and press the plus sign up top.
6. Once you’ve pressed the plus sign, you’ll see three options up top: Collections, Recommend, Channels. You’ll want to click Channels.
7. Once you see this screen, you’ll want to scroll down until you see the “Maker” channel w/ the big M on it. Click that circle.
8. Once you’ve done that, you’ll come across this screen. Press create new recipe.
9. Press make a web request.
10. You’ll then see a similar screen to what you would see if you were using the maker channel on IFTTT in your browser. Here we’ll name the button, and put in all the necessary requirements to send our button information to Initial State. Here I’m making a button for our CTO David. I’ve named the button “David Point,” I’ve copied my API Endpoint URL into the URL box (you can retrieve this on your phone by logging into Initial State via your browser or emailing/texting yourself the URL from your computer), changed method to “POST” and content type to “application/json.”
11. Next you’ll go to the body section and type this:
Once again, I’ve typed “David’s Points” in the key section because that’s the tile I want to send it to. If you’re adding to the same bucket from the Alexa Tutorial then you will want to type the same key that you used for David (or whoever). Otherwise, it will create a new tile and not add points to the same person when you use Alexa or DO.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I always have to say this on these IFTTT tutorials because it really messed with me the first time I did this. Make sure all of your quotation marks are straight up and down, and not slanted in any way. Json format reads these as totally different characters and won’t register your command properly if not formatted correctly. Your browser may try to format the quotes if you’re copying and pasting the code from one application to another. Always double check!
12. Click Add
13. Now go to your button screen, find the button you’ve created, press it and be amazed at how it sends your point to the same bucket and tile that you previously created in the Alexa Tutorial.
Congrats!! Now you can go through this same process to create buttons for everyone participating in your competition. I’d love to see what kind of scoreboards you’re creating, and for what reason. Once you create your scoreboard, share your dashboard with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll give you something awesome!