In the Dash of an Eye

The concept behind the Amazon Dash Button is to help people get one step closer to living in a world where everything is connected and where users’ needs and wants can be met without the use of a computer.

The Amazon Dash Button allows shoppers to order their favorite products from Amazon. That is, if said favorite product is part of the brands that have partnered with the e-commerce giant. Check out a full list of products on the Amazon Dash button.

Each individual button is tied to one specific brand. It attaches to any surface, so you could order as many buttons as your heart desires and place one in almost every room of your house. How convenient! You can have a button solely to restock Goldfish® snacks, Smartwater®, Huggies® diapers, Tide® products and Bounty® paper towels. The list goes on.

While the concept of ordering anything with a touch of your finger is great, not all consumers are actually using the Dash Button as intended…or are not using it at all. Market research firm Slice Intelligence released a study showing fewer than half of the customers with Dash Buttons have placed a single order. The reason most consumers aren’t using the button is that it’s actually not saving them any money. The products offered under each brand can be limited…and they are quite costly. For example, if you were to purchase the Bounty Dash Button, your only two options for ordering would be those shown below.

Screenshot of a shopping page on
While the limited products and increased prices are drawbacks to the Dash Button, there have been a few clever developers around the world that have found other ways to use these buttons and IFTTT to create their very own smart homes. There are also a few developers out there that have used the button to track their babies’ poop and eating cycles! (No joke.) There are three button presses – single, double and long – that you can program to tie in to separate IFTTT actions. For example, if you single-press the button, you can turn on the lights in your house; with two presses, you can set the A/C; and with three presses, you can set your alarm system.

Building a Smart Home with Amazon Dash and IFTTT

By using IFTTT, Philips Hue bulbs and an Amazon Dash Button, you can control all the lights in your house. You can turn them off automatically at a set time or turn them on at sunset. Check out this recipe on IFTTT.

You could even use Myfox Security channel within IFTTT to work with your Amazon Dash Button to set off the alarm sirens to your home security, which would then trigger Myfox Security to call you before they call the authorities.

Here are more examples of what’s currently out there:

  • Call Uber
  • Order pizza and beer
  • Order anything from Amazon (other than what’s offered via the button)
  • Control any power outlet in your home
  • Watch Netflix and dim the lights!
  • Brew coffee

Check out Hackster to see how to connect IFTTT with the Amazon Dash Button.

Amazon even got in on the hacking of its button once it saw how many people were using it for other purposes. Amazon launched the AWS IoT Button, which was designed specifically for developers to use to code their own logic. This button costs $19.95 vs. a normal Dash Button cost of $4.99, and does essentially the same thing. So to all those thrifty developers out there, I would just buy the $4.99 version.

While I might not agree with the original intent of the Amazon Dash Button, I am on board with how we can use this tool to make our lives more efficient, to live in a smart home that helps conserve energy and to protect our safety.

What would you hack with the button?


The Psychology of Web Design