Hack turns Amazon Dash Buttons into do anything switches

As seen previously, Amazon's new Dash Buttons are physical equivalents of 1-click checkout options, allowing Amazon Prime members to order common household items with a single press of the WiFi-connected device. But one programmer has come with a fairly simple hack that turns the $5 buttons into something that can track just about any type of data point. In a detailed post on Medium, Edward Benson explains how he turned a Dash Button into a system that collects data on his baby.

The Dash Buttons are basically little more than a WiFi radio connected to a battery. Instead of constantly being connected to a network, they just lie dormant until the button is pressed, which then triggers them to access the internet. Benson's hack is based on the fact that a device connecting to a WiFi network is something that can be detected and recorded, and thus used to trigger something other than ordering an Amazon item.

In his example, Benson set up his button so that each press records in a Google spreadsheet when his baby has pooped. Another button can be used to record when the baby wakes up at night, and so on.

These are actually simple examples, but the hack could be used in even more advanced situations thanks to Internet Of Things (IoT) platforms like IFTTT, which uses one digital action to trigger something else completely unrelated. With this in mind, a Dash Button could be used to turn on the coffee machine in the kitchen, or open a smart door lock without getting up.

If you understand how to code in Python, you can find all the instructions and script used on Benson's Medium post.

SOURCE Edward Benson/Medium