Amazon Dash buttons are tiny internet-connected buttons that you can put anywhere in your house and tap to order re-fills of items you regularly purchase.

First unveiled earlier this year, Amazon Dash buttons are now available for $5 each.

With this battery-powered, Wi-Fi enabled button, Amazon Prime shoppers can quickly order a single item without having to use their computer or smartphone (or smartwatch) to make the purchase.

With such a limited feature, some folks are asking, “what’s the point?” But other have decided to dig into the guts of the product to see what’s under the hood. That could help pave the way for using Dash buttons for more than just shopping.

Hacker Matt W1MST published a teardown of the button on his website when he first got is early bird button back in May.

The stand-alone buy button features a 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi radio. It also has a QR code sticker on it, which apparently brings up a serial number (most likely the device’s identifier).

Another hacking fan, F3n0x, posted some more detailed images of another Dash button. Underneath the QR code sticker is… another QR code.

Over at BitofCents, more details on what we are looking at are available. The device includes a Broadcom wireless module with a micro controller and a memory chip.

Amazon Dash button 1

It also turns out that the button has a microphone. According to comments on Hackaday, the microphone uses ultrasonic tones to receive data from the your smartphone through the companion Amazon app during setup.

Now for the good stuff… what else could your turn your $5 hacked button into? One Hackaday commenter mentioned a Wi-Fi doorbell or camera trigger. If you can figure out how to connect it to a Raspberry Pi, there are all manner of fun things you could do with a stand-along button. Like, turn your sprinklers on from inside the house, or turn electronics on and off, or even recode the button to buy something from Amazon that you are more interested in, like a pound of strawberry flavored Starbursts.

I have a feeling that, over the next few months, more and more hackers are going to come up with clever uses for Amazon’s Dash buttons. While $5 might seem like too much to pay for a button that just helps you spend more money, it’s a pretty cheap price for a potentially programmable n internet-of-things button. I look forward to seeing those projects.

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5 replies on “Amazon Dash $5 shopping button now available… might be useful for more than shopping”

  1. This reminds me a lot of the classic “Cue Cat” barcode reader…

    1. Er, wouldn’t that be a speaker rather than a microphone if it sends data to your smartphone?

      1. Sorry, I think we had that backward originally — the smartphone app emits a sound on your phone which can be picked up by the Dash button.

        1. Thanks. Not a licensed Electrical Engineer here but I *thought* something smelled wrong.

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