Bluetooth technology has been around for quite a long time. It started as a “personal network” protocol that was designed as a low powered alternative to wifi and has since become one of the most common protocols for mobile devices and anything you would normally connect with a cable. In this review we will be looking at an interesting new product the Tunai Button. This is a Bluetooth Media controller or what others might call a “Smartphone Remote”
The Tunai Button is a small self contained device that is designed to give users a remote control to common smart phone features. For instance if you are looking for that perfect selfie but need to put a little more distance between you and the camera you can use the Tunai Button to remotely activate the camera shutter up to 30 feet away.
Another example would be listening to music in your car or bicycle. Instead of reaching for your phone to change tracks or adjust the volume you can use the four outer buttons on the Tunai Button to make those adjustments for you. The Button will also allow you to call Siri and answer the phone provided you are using an iPhone. As I have noticed the Tunai Button works great on Android devices as an application remote however voice commands and answering the phone are currently limited to apple devices only.
Nordic Bluetooth 5.0
CR2032 Battery lasting up to 3 years
Size: 1.5in x 1.5in x 0.2in
The Tunai Button is quite small at 1.5inch square and only 0.2inches thick. The edges feature a machined finish to accent the black body.
A single button style battery provides power for the Tunai Button and is easily replicable using the included micro screw driver.
The interface for the Tunai Button is a grid of 6 buttons.
In the middle to the right and left of center are your basic “Forward and Back” buttons, At the top and button you’ll find volume up and down. They also have alternative functions like the camera shutter and mute button.
At the center you’ll find play pause and the answer button on iPhone.
These rubber buttons cover the mechanical buttons underneath and help to provide the IPX5 level of waterproofing. The buttons feature raised symbols and are honestly extremely difficult to see or feel especially in low light. They don’t even photograph well but, are easy to activate once you find the button you are after.
Personally I would have preferred physical buttons over a membrane given that they are easier to activate and feel out in the dark. It would have also been helpful had the raised and lowered areas of the membrane been colored differently to help them stand out.
The Tunai Button is a very simple and helpful device giving you a little more freedom over how you use your smartphone. While I was doing this review I experimented with the Button doing the normal things like remote shutter control with the camera and playing some music. Normally I play music though Pandora and despite that being a custom app the Button controlled everything as you would expect. Not all applications work the same however, the basic functionally is there. For instance listening to the Hardware Asylum Podcast using the google app would play and pause the show just fine however, switching to the next track required a click on the phone.
Interaction with the Button it quite easy however I had mentioned that the membrane covering the Button’s, buttons were difficult to see and the square nature of the Button made it really easy to get things turned around. What was once the + for volume up is now the track back or, volume down. (That was a fun one let me tell you)
The Tunai Button features a magnetic base allowing the Button to be installed on your steering wheel or bicycle handle bars. You’ll find three rubber bands included with the Tunai Button and they work well to hold the base and prevent it from moving. As the button attaches with magnets you can easily remove it for safe keeping.
Finally paring the Button with your mobile device was super easy. Simply press one of the buttons to activate the device and it will start looking for a host. If you have already pared with the Button it will automatically reconnect. If not, you’ll be prompted to connect to the device just like with any Bluetooth accessory. The button can be paired with multiple devices however, can only be used with one device at a time.
The Tunai Button is a really fun and helpful device allowing you to get more from your Smartphone. As with any accessory the Button should be used to alleviate problems you may be experiencing. For instance if your current car does not have steering wheel controls or you are looking to add a different vantage point to your action photos the Tunai Button can help.