Staples Easy Button Hacking

easy button

Hack-A-Day reader [al cohen] was pretty perturbed by Staple’s Easy Button campaign since nothing in business is easy. So he decided to modify their cute button (PDF). He replaced the guts with a cheap recording circuit from RadioShack. He also added a 1/8 inch jack so you can record directly from the computer. The new button doesn’t need a separate mic either; you can record by speaking into the speaker. As a final touch Al ground off the easy, polished it and made the button evil. You can watch a video of the button declaring his distaste for Spam. You might have seen Jeff Caylor’s previous abuses of the Easy Button on Make. My roommate thought it would be funny if someone wired it to generate the “shift+delete” key sequence.

27 thoughts on “Staples Easy Button Hacking

  1. i’ve got 2 of em…i bought one on impulse and then my mom, who knows me oh-so-well, bought me one for the holidays. So one sits at home and the other at the office. i think we’ve found a fate for at least one (probably the work one).

  2. Thats no “Evil” button! Evil buttons don’t go on rants about technology. A good “Evil” button would do the following:

    “EVIL” lettering is actually a conductor. When button is pressed, it triggers the discharging of 4 disposible camera flash capacitors in parallel through the users hand. Functionality of the appendage may or may not return within a week.

  3. #9 – surface burns only, possibly some scarring, but the worst injury I’ve gotten from a regular disposable camera is a constellation burn from showing people it wasn’t that dangerous. 4 at a time over a wider area won’t be life changing or threatening unless you press it with both hands making a circuit through your heart.

    although a scar on the palm of your hand that says evil backwards…

  4. #7: An easy button is made by Staples, when you press it, it says “That was easy” (“That was easy” is Staples slogan.). Go to to see the page for it on Staples web-site.

    “My roommate thought it would be funny if someone wired it to generate the shift+delete key sequence.”
    It seems easy to do, all you have to do is wire a button to the contact points on the keyboard. Look at for more info, yes, it maybe for MAME arcade machines, but it will tell you how to do it.

  5. This is the most worthless thing yet on hackaday that I’ve seen.. there’s something to be said for a site that has a build your own CNC router one day and the next day they’re hacking easy buttons

  6. I would like to let every one know staples does not make any money off of the easy button. Staples donates the proceeds to the boys and girls foundation. So they are doing a good deed. I have always had great service there my self.

  7. In Canada we send the proceeds to special olympics (yes I’m a staples sales associate). I proposed this mod to one of the guys in furniture, who wants to mod one and keep it around in the area… I think some of the female colleagues in the store will WTF at this. You’d be surprised at how many of those tricks we sell though…

  8. This should be part of a 2 part hack. First you have to hack a wireless keyboard, so that you can insert the SHIFT + DEL keys and the wireless function into the EASY BUTTON. Then you hack the easy button to use the shift + Del and send it wirelessly to the usb dongle. Now you have a recipe for EVIL.

  9. First time I’ve ever read this thread. The button was stolen off my desk about 5 years ago. I just made another one for a colleague. I appreciate everybody’s comments. And I thought it was pretty cool that I made a little bit of news for a dopey little modification

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