Many have laughed and thought it was an April Fool’s joke when they were first announced, but it has been found that Amazon’s Dash buttons can be hacked to keep track of anything the user wishes. Meaning it would be turning its ‘ordering’ purpose into something that has nothing to do with Amazon.
It’s still uncertain on how the popular electronic commerce website feels about this, but at least there’s another reason to buy them.
Amazon Prime members have been given the choice to purchase the $4.99 Dash Buttons, that are simple, small devices that can be placed wherever you wish around your house, and with a push of the button, the regular daily products will be automatically re-ordered and soon delivered.
The website offered a number of 18 varieties for different products, ranging from detergent to wipes to diapers or macaroni and cheese. After one press, the device connected to your WiFi and sent the signal to your Amazon Prime account that you’ve just refreshed your order. And, as the name implies, your purchases would be there in a dash.
However, developer Ted Benson, who works for a company that is known for exploring the option of such tiny gadgets, has recently posted on how the purpose of a Dash Button can be redirected to other needs. By pressing the button, the data can be sent to a spreadsheet to record specific events that often repeat during the average day.
For an example, Benson used his own situation, where he has manipulated the button through simple coding, to send the date and hour to a spreadsheet on his computer every time he pushes it when his infant child cries during the night. It could be greatly helpful to record patterns and habits that might find more uses than just his particular example.
Any sort of patterns can be tracked within two steps. The first one implies skipping the last step of the Dash Button’s installation process that links the tiny device to your Amazon account. The second is a bit trickier, as it involves some alteration into its coding via Phython, but Benson has released full instructions on how you can turn the Amazon product into a one-click tracking device.
The developer has also discovered that Dash Buttons are not constantly connected to your WiFi network. Instead, they ‘wake up’ when the button is pressed, and thus, does an excellent job in preserving battery life. It could be quicker and simpler than using an app on your phone or manually posting entries on your computer.
According to Benson, this is what the Internet of Things is going to be all about.
Image source: tech.co