How Echo Buttons Work

Echo Buttons are physical buttons, initially sold in sets of two, that enable users to buzz in as part of the skill experience.

Echo Buttons are battery-powered, contain RGB LEDs, and connect to compatible Amazon Echo devices using Bluetooth. After buying the buttons and pairing them to an Echo device, users can use the buttons with skills that are marked as Requires Echo Buttons or Optional: Echo Buttons in the Alexa Skills Store.

Pairing Echo Buttons to an Amazon Echo Device

Echo Buttons contain a Bluetooth radio that enables users to initiate pairing with a compatible Echo device through voice or through the Amazon Alexa app. A typical user flow is to purchase the buttons, unbox and power the buttons using two AAA batteries, put the buttons within range of a compatible Echo device, and then say a command such as "Alexa, set up my Echo Buttons."

Users can also visit the Alexa app, go to the settings screen for a specific Echo device, and select "Pair Alexa Gadget" to initiate the pairing process. Alexa will prompt the user to press the Echo Buttons, one at a time, to register them as connected to the device.

Once paired with a compatible Echo device, users can use the buttons with any skill that supports the button events and gameplay designed by skill developers. To conserve battery power, Echo Buttons do not maintain an active connection at all times, so your skill flow should include a roll call interaction that allows active players to confirm they are ready to play.

Echo Buttons can be paired with more than one Echo device, but when a skill is using the buttons, the buttons can only be paired with a single device.

Echo Buttons and Latency

When designing skills that interact with Echo Buttons, keep in mind the latency between a button press going to the cloud and back. This latency is variable and depends on several factors. Experiment and be creative when working with this constraint.

Echo Button Light Colors

Due to the limitations of the hardware, some colors do not look as expected when rendered on Echo Buttons. You may need to experiment to find colors that work well with your skill. For examples of how colors might appear when rendered on Echo Buttons, see Echo Button Animations.

Compatible Echo Devices

For a list of Echo devices that are compatible with Echo Buttons, see the Echo Button Detail Page.