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Amazon’s Dash Buttons were initially thought to be an April Fool’s joke The Best April Fools of 2015, Facebook Riffs with Friends, & More... [Tech News Digest] The Best April Fools of 2015, Facebook Riffs with Friends, & More... [Tech News Digest] Celebrating April Fools' Day 2015, Facebook's Riff app, the ASUS Chromebit, Amazon's Dash buttons, HBO on Sling TV, and homeless people reading mean tweets. Read More since they were announced around April 1, 2015. However, they’re quite real, and since release they’ve become an easy way to re-order common household products with the touch of a button.

With a little work, Dash Buttons can actually be modified to perform a variety of tasks without ever contacting Amazon. If you’ve got some new Dash Buttons sitting around or want to spend just $5 to dip your toe into the Internet of Things The Internet of Things: 10 Useful Products You Must Try in 2016 The Internet of Things: 10 Useful Products You Must Try in 2016 The Internet of Things is ramping up in 2016, but what does that mean exactly? How do you personally benefit from the Internet of Things? Here are a few useful products to illustrate. Read More , here are some of the coolest hacks we’ve found.

Note that beyond the initial setup, setting up these hacks requires a bit of programming knowledge. As a matter of scope, we won’t be going in-depth into any code. Instead, we’ll be linking to the best setups — their developers have provided instructions for replicating them on your own devices, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get going.

Getting Set Up

First, you’ll need to acquire an Amazon Dash Button, which requires an Amazon Prime subscription 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now Scratch the surface. Amazon Prime has so many more benefits that people have forgotten about or simply don't realize exist. Read More . You can try Prime free for 30 days to get a button without subscribing — you don’t need to keep the subscription since you won’t be buying items from Amazon.

Dash Buttons normally cost $5, though they did go on sale for $1 around Amazon Prime Day What's Amazon Prime Day and How Do I Get the Best Deals? What's Amazon Prime Day and How Do I Get the Best Deals? Amazon Prime is one of the best events for consumers in last decade. It really brought online shopping to the masses and transformed the way we approach purchases. Read More , and come in a variety of products. Feel free to browse the collection and choose your favorites — the brand on the button won’t have any effect on the hacking. If you’re ordering several buttons to perform different functions, it’s a good idea to buy ones that are different colors and thus easy to distinguish.

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Once you’ve got a Dash Button, you’ll need to start setting it up like normal. Follow Amazon’s instructions to set the button up, but stop at the step where it asks you to choose your product. At this point simply close the app. Now your button can connect to your wireless network but will not order any products when pressed, which is right where we want it.

Next, you’ll need to identify the button on your network. For a guide on this, have a look at the original Dash Button hacking article, written by Ted Benson. He’s the one who initially hacked Dash Buttons to track his baby’s nighttime habits, and explains how this works in the post.

To save battery, Dash Buttons only turn on when pressed, which means they send a “hello?” signal to your network every time you push one. Using this signal, we can identify when a button is pressed and use it to send a signal to other apps and services, which is where the fun comes in.

The Best Hacks

Tracking baby data is great, but unless you have a young one 8 Tech Products To Keep Your Baby Room (and Baby!) Safe and Secure 8 Tech Products To Keep Your Baby Room (and Baby!) Safe and Secure Bringing baby home can be a scary experience, but these ten tech products can provide you with much-needed peace of mind about the safety and security of your home. Read More , it won’t be useful for you. Here’s a collection of Amazon Dash Button hacks from around the web to get you started. If you have programming know-how 7 Useful Tricks for Mastering a New Programming Language 7 Useful Tricks for Mastering a New Programming Language It's okay to be overwhelmed when you are learning to code. You'll probably forget things as quickly as you learn them. These tips can help you to better retain all that new information. Read More , you can surely come up with a variety of other uses!

1. Order a Pizza

There are a ton of ways to order food with the internet How Ordering Food with Your Phone Can Ruin Your Health How Ordering Food with Your Phone Can Ruin Your Health Smartphones have made our access to unhealthy food extremely easy -- here's how. Read More these days. Some of the >methods from Domino’s Pizza, for example, border on ridiculous, including a smartwatch app, sending a pizza emoji in a text message, and ordering from your car. For the geeky types, they actually have a pizza-ordering API that you can utilize to your advantage with your Dash Button.

Try itHacking Amazon’s $5 Dash Button to order Domino’s Pizza

2. Track Practice Start and End Times

For some activities, you may care about both when you start and finish, such as practicing guitar with Rocksmith Why Rocksmith 2014 is the Perfect Tool for Guitar Beginners Why Rocksmith 2014 is the Perfect Tool for Guitar Beginners Rocksmith 2014 is the best way to pick up a guitar and start learning for the first time. Here are the reasons why you need to check it out! Read More . Instead of manually logging your time, a Dash Button can help with this — just press it when you begin and when you’re finished. Using the below script, you can keep track of your times in a Google Sheet.

Check it outAmazon Dash Button practice tracker

3. Control Smart Outlets and Lights

We’ve discussed the variety of gadgets that can be used with a Samsung SmartThings Hub The Coolest Smart Gadgets Compatible With a SmartThings Hub The Coolest Smart Gadgets Compatible With a SmartThings Hub The SmartThings hub connects wirelessly with hundreds of compatible smart devices, allowing you to monitor, control, and secure your home from anywhere in the world. Read More , and how Philips Hue can make your lighting awesome 4 Ways Philips Hue Can Push Your Lighting to the Next Level 4 Ways Philips Hue Can Push Your Lighting to the Next Level Without Philips Hue, however, the smart home concept might never have gotten off the ground. Here are some cool ways to make use of them. Read More . Using a couple of Amazon Dash hacks, you can interact with both using just one touch.

Take it to the next levelHack the Amazon Dash Button to control a SmartThings switch and Hack an Amazon Dash Button to control Philips Hue lights

4. Send a Text Message

Despite the usefulness of messaging apps, SMS remains a constant presence on our phones. While there are ways to send a text from a PC How to Send a Free SMS Text Message from Your Windows PC How to Send a Free SMS Text Message from Your Windows PC Do you avoid sending text messages from your phone? How much more convenient would it be to send them from your computer? We have compiled the best desktop tools to send text messages for free. Read More if you don’t have your phone, what about sending a text with a button? You can imagine the possibilities here — having one or a few canned messages ready at the touch of a button could be quite helpful.

Start sendingSend an SMS when an Amazon Dash button is pressed

5. Connect to IFTTT for Endless Possibilities

We’ve praised IFTTT extensively The Ultimate IFTTT Guide: Use The Web's Most Powerful Tool Like A Pro The Ultimate IFTTT Guide: Use The Web's Most Powerful Tool Like A Pro IFTTT is an automation that will enable you to connect 2 services so that, when something happens with one service, a trigger goes off and an action takes place automatically on the other. Read More for its powerful ability to make nearly any web service interact with another IFTTT Recipes That Help You Save Money IFTTT Recipes That Help You Save Money IFTTT can be used to do nearly anything, and saving money is no exception. Here are some of the best recipes to help you live more frugally. Read More . If none of the ideas above have suited your fancy, you’ll be able to come up with something for sure here.

Nearly any outgoing channel in IFTTT can be used here. You could set up a silent doorbell by sending a notification to your phone, send a tweet, set up a hidden emergency button that contacts someone, or call your own phone. The possibilities are only limited by how creative you can get with IFTTT.

GuideHow to hack Amazon’s Wi-Fi button for IFTTT

What Will You Hack?

Of course, this is just a sampling of the best hacks you can get your Dash buttons to do. With IFTTT you’re never far away from a new opportunity — the most limiting aspect might be that the $5 price adds up! Amazon hasn’t changed the functionality of the Dash Buttons despite these discoveries, so grab a button and start tinkering.

Looking for more smart home DIY on the cheap? Check out smart home projects you can tackle in a weekend 6 Smart Home Projects You Can Take On This Weekend 6 Smart Home Projects You Can Take On This Weekend Here are six ways to add a little ambient intelligence to your daily routine. Read More .

Which Dash Button hack is your favorite? If you’ve got one to add to the list, add it down in the comments!

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