Bending The New Amazon Dash Button To Your Will

Most Hackaday readers are familiar with the Amazon Dash button even if it has not yet made an appearance in their country or region. A WiFi enabled button emblazoned with a product logo, that triggers an Amazon order for that product when you press it. Stick it on your washing machine, press the button when you run out of laundry soap, and as if by magic some laundry soap appears. You still have to get out of your armchair to collect the soap from the delivery guy, but maybe they’re working on that problem too.

Of course the embedded computer concealed within the Dash button has been the subject of much interest within our community, and quite a few creative uses have been made of repurposed and reverse engineered examples.

Earlier this year a new Dash button model appeared. Largely similar on the outside, but sporting a comprehensive hardware update internally. Gone is the STM32 processor to be replaced by an Atmel part, and unfortunately since they also made changes to its communication protocol, gone also are most of the hacks for the device.

[Evan Allen] writes to us with his work on bending the new Dash button to his will. He goes into detail on the subject of retrieving their MAC addresses, and modifications to existing hacks to allow the buttons to be intercepted/redirected to trigger his MQTT server. It’s not by any means the end of the story and we’re sure we’ll see more accomplished uses of the new Dash button in due course, but it’s a start.

If the new button’s hardware interests you then [Matthew Petroff]’s teardown is definitely worth a look. As well as the Atmel chips — discovered to be a ATSAMG55J19A-MU with an ATWINC1500B wireless chip — the buttons now support power from a AA cell, and boast a significantly reduced power consumption. We really, really, need to pwn this tasty new hardware!

We’ve covered quite a few Dash button hacks before, from simply capturing button presses to cracking it wide open and running your own code. Let’s hope this new version will prove to be as versatile.

13 thoughts on “Bending The New Amazon Dash Button To Your Will

  1. Unfortunately, this design implies there are still no plans to release the Amazon Dash within the European Union, as it still does not meet the Batteries Directive (2006/66/EC) stating that the batteries should be safely removable by the
    end-user or by independent qualified professionals.

    1. I’m pretty sure an ‘independent qualified professional’ could remove an AA battery.

      If it’s ‘safely’ – define ‘safely’? Nothing that could cause harm to anyone or thing (other than Dash casing) is required to remove it…

      As it stands, many mobile phones, tablets and laptops are sealed from the end user, with a far greater ‘risk’ to safety for removal of the battery (i.e. An iPad required the glass to be removed).
      These all would fowl the aforementioned directive.

      1. There are quite safe removal instructions for the iphone battery involving an heat gun. Note that the device does not have to survive this procedure, just that the battery can be removed safely, in accordance with our rather strict safety regulations.

        Ultrasonic welds make that task difficult.

        1. I have no troubles opening ultrasonic-welded plastics, for example power adapters. Just quick hit with a hammer and weld splits in half, PCB stays undamaged. Jaw vice is anoter useful tool for that. If you do it correctly you can even reassemble it later and it will look pretty good.

      2. Member States shall ensure that manufacturers design appliances
        in such a way that waste batteries and accumulators can
        be readily removed. Appliances into which batteries and accumulators
        are incorporated shall be accompanied by instructions
        showing how they can be removed safely and, where appropriate,
        informing the end-user of the type of the incorporated
        batteries and accumulators. These provisions shall not apply
        where, for safety, performance, medical or data integrity
        reasons, continuity of power supply is necessary and requires a
        permanent connection between the appliance and the battery
        or accumulator.

    2. remove it to safely toss it into the garbage?
      Is this really the reason for not releasing it here? I mean if you or the “independent qualified professional” clamps the case in a vise or hits it with a hammer it is open.

      1. The IoT buttons are disappointing, they come just as sealed and locked as the branded buttons. You pay a premium for a marketing tool designed to ease onboarding to the AWS IoT platform. There’s no intention of making it hacker friendly or encouraging creative use of the hardware whatsoever.

        Pretty useless, when for the same $20 you could get a Particle Photon with nearly the same hardware, which can be turned into an actually useful IoT button, and sensor, and actuator all at once.

    1. I picked up some $.99 buttons on Prime Day, a couple are still on backorder, but the two I have received are the new model. They have the updated sticky pad and pair over Bluetooth.

      Haven’t cracked them open yet, but now that I know there’s something different inside I’ll get right on it!

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