In 2015, e-commerce giant Amazon debuted the Dash button, a Wi-Fi-enabled, adhesive-mounted panel that allows users to reorder popular household items like Tide detergent or Glad trash bags simply by pressing it. Rather than risk forgetting items at the store, the company hoped the immediacy and convenience of the button would translate into more sales.
Perhaps it has—Amazon is shy about sharing those figures—but like any piece of technology, users have found plenty of alternative uses for the device. Check out 10 ways the Dash has been repurposed.
1. AN ACLU DONATION BUTTON
ACLU via Twitter
Washington native Nathan Pryor recently told NBC News that his frustrations over the current political landscape compelled him to rework his Dash button into a device that would allow him to donate $5 to the American Civil Liberties Union every time he pressed it. Pryor said he lunges for the button whenever he feels frustrated at policy changes in government.
2. FRESH COFFEE NOTIFICATION
Busy offices know they have some responsibility to make staff aware when a fresh pot of coffee is waiting for sleepy employees. While intra-office social media software makes for an easy method of updating employees, the Nelson Cash marketing firm in New York opted for an upgrade. When a worker finishes brewing a new batch of coffee, they can push a modified Dash button, which will then send an alert via Slack, notifying everyone that caffeine is now available.
3. A WIRELESS DOORBELL
Wireless doorbells are widely available, but few (if any) are as economical as the $4.99 sticker attached to the Dash button. (Amazon will even credit that amount to your account, making the hardware essentially free.) The clever people at Not Enough TECH have posted step-by-step instructions for making a wireless doorbell you can mount near your front door that will send an alert to your mobile device whenever someone pushes it.
4. INSTANT PIZZA DELIVERY
Beware: this hack is not for those lacking in self-discipline. Pizza aficionado Brody Berson wrote code for his Dash button that sends his delivery and payment instructions to his local Domino’s Pizza location’s online ordering form. In a split second, a hot pie is on its way to him. Berson speculates you could write code for Jimmy John’s or any of a number of other fast food delivery sources.
5. COOLING DOWN A TESLA S
Who wants to climb into a scorching hot electric car? Not Michael Donnelly, proud owner of a Tesla S, who tweaked his Dash button to pre-set his car's air conditioning preferences. By depressing the button, Donnelly can activate the AC in his car; another button press lowers the temperature to his preferred setting. Because the car is electric, the engine doesn’t need to be on in order to control its climate.
6. CONTROLLING HOUSEHOLD LIGHTS
Light switches are so 20th century. Blogger Dan at The GhostBit wrote a script for his Dash that allows him to power on his wireless LED Philips Hue light sources in his household. Cool? Very. But keep in mind that the Dash needs to find a network address every time it’s pressed, so there’s a three-second delay between button depression and illumination.
7. TRACK BABY POOP
Cloudstitch founder Ted Benson saw the Dash as an opportunity to better understand his newborn’s needs. Instead of investing in expensive baby tracking data software, Benson configured his Dash so it would create a spreadsheet entry every time he pressed it, which he did to log his baby’s nap times, awakenings, and poops.
8. CALL AN UBER
Coder Geoffrey Tesserand posted this script for the Dash, which allows him to push a button that activates a request for an Uber ride to meet him at his home. Tesserand thinks it’s particularly helpful for those who need to request a near-daily pick-up and don’t want to go through the hassle of unlocking their phone and using Uber’s app to repeat the same destination location every day.
9. SEND A TEXT
Yes, texting is already a very, very simple task. But if you’re prone to repeatedly sending brief messages like “I’m home” or “On my way,” you can use code that allows you to send these generic missives via SMS text messaging.
Sending unsuspecting parties footage of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” has become one of the internet's favorite pastimes. One Dash user posted code that allows users to launch their own Rickroll at the press of a button. It will never let you down.