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Thread: Controlling iPhone with external button

  1. #1

    Controlling iPhone with external button

    I use an iPhone for my everyday phone needs. In the last year, I got in the routine of using my phone to call for help from I roommate at night if needed (for leg spasms, etc.). My mobility when laying down is limited enough that I cannot press buttons on the phone when I'm in bed. Instead, I use a big red button that connects to another device that talks to the phone by Bluetooth. At the moment I can't recall the name of the Bluetooth device, but it is designed for hands-free conversations while in the car.

    Ideally, the hands-free device could be used to do voice dialing, but it seems that Siri on the iPhone does not recognize anything from the hands-free microphone; maybe its microphone isn't as high quality as on the phone? Instead, all I can do is redial the last person that I placed a call to (double tapping the button does this automatically). It would be nice to be able to call whoever I want.

    Is anyone aware of how I might be able to interface with my iPhone using the type of button that I have? I have tried plugging in the button jack into the iPhone, but it doesn't do anything.

    As a reference, this is the button that I have. I think the jack is a 1/8" connector.

    I am a C4/5 quadriplegic and typically sleep laying on my back.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jonny Bell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Shenzhen, China (from the UK)
    There are 'medical alarm devices' which you can purchase for communicate plus auto dialling of 911 if required.
    Hi there, I'm only 20 years old but I'm creating my own disabled driving organization - it's growing rapidly everyday and currently features hundreds of pages of useful content you can't find elsewhere.

    Visit my hand controls website for more information.

    Or you can visit my website's blog where I outline what's happening and my plans for the future.

    You can also see my story here.

  3. #3
    Senior Member IsMaisin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Just outside Fort Bragg, NC USA
    This is not really what you asked for, but have you considered a low tech approach? Just wire a big button to a doorbell (one that sounds different from your front door)

  4. #4
    I was looking through the info on the big red button's web site, and I'm more confused than ever. But I was going to say that my bluetooth works just fine with voice commands and it's a hands-free speaker phone. It's a Motorola TX500.

    If you had an electronics wiz of some type in your life, I would THINK you could hook something like the big red button up to that device, and then you could do all the siri voice stuff (Something like removing the 1/8" jack and wiring the button to replace the phone button on the speakerphone).

    Just an idea, might not work, but might get you thinking in other directions!


  5. #5
    I did finally figure out with my hands-free device was: it's a Jabra SP 200. Here is its website.

    I got it during a reevaluation at Craig Hospital. They modified it in-house so they can interface with switches like my big red button. In response to IsMaisin, what I have works fine as a calling system. I can redial just fine, but I would like to be able to call anyone I want (like a caregiver who is late in the morning, etc.). No matter how close it with the speakerphone to my face, I am not able to get Siri to hear me and understand what I'm asking for.

    I tried plugging the big red button Jack directly into my iPhone, but it does nothing. Perhaps is there an adapter plug that goes from a 1/8 inch jack to the iPhone plug? Maybe that will get the signal across?

    I have also tried changing the default microphone/speaker to the iPhone when connected to the Bluetooth Jabra. I can change the speaker over for a individual call, but I have to change it after answering the call using the touch screen. I can't set a default so that no matter when I use Siri or may/answer a call, it goes to my iPhone instead of the hands-free.

    Maybe it's impossible, but any more ideas?

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