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New Amazon Dash Buttons – What Technology Do They Use (Microwave??)

The new Amazon Dash Buttons are seemingly a device of the future, allowing you to purchase items at the click of a button, literally. This little button isn’t just on your computer though it’s a physical button that you can place anywhere in your home. Once you click it, Amazon automatically places an order for the product that your button is designated to order and in two days your delivery will be right at your doorstep. Which will leave you questioning, what technology do they use to accomplish such a feat?

How is it Designed

Dash button fits right on a washer/dryer...

This button is designed with simplicity in mind. The Amazon Dash Button is powered by an AA battery, but it uses an ultra-light power saving mode with amazing efficiency, a circuit board and a couple other simple components; such as a Broadcom WiFi Controller. The WiFi controller syncs with your internet router and only draws on the WiFi when the button is pushed. Because the button also turns the device on, the Button will initiate a low powered state while it orders your product from Amazon directly. When the order is completed and the device receives a confirmation signal from Amazon, a green light turns on and the Button goes back to an unpowered state. Which means the AA battery in this device will last for a long time; Amazon claims that it should last for up to 1,000 clicks.

The STM32F205RG6 processor and ROM chosen for the Amazon Dash Button hold the code required to complete the order transaction, and other bits of information essential to completing its designated task. If the device successfully completes an order, you will see a green LED light. You will also receive an email notification of your purchase with the option to cancel it within the first thirty minutes of it being placed. However, if the order is unsuccessful for any reason, then the LED light flashes red and returns to its unpowered state allowing you to try to place the order again.

Efficient Product – But Fail Safe?

Despite the streamlined efficiency and ease of use of this device, it has a couple fail safes in case things go awry. Regardless of how many times the button is pushed, only one order will be placed. Like pictured, it’s often placed on a matching washer/dryer system to use for soaps and detergents, which is handy, but what if its pressed accidentally? Amazon’s button won’t be able to place another order for the same product until after the first order has been delivered to your door. Thankfully it won’t matter if you forget that you pushed the button two hours ago and push it again, you will only receive one order.

The Amazon Dash Button also comes with a microphone but it’s not used for voice related tasks, instead the Amazon App communicates with the Dash button via your phone, through a series of high pitched frequencies. These sounds are used to transfer bits of information to the device, such as how to connect to the WiFi router.
Overall, the Amazon Dash Button is a very simple device but it’s powerful enough to complete an order within moments and notify you of how that order went. Essentially the button is a little computer programmed specifically for ordering products off Amazon, and because it works as a computer Amazon is already designing ways to improve the button and make it more versatile for everyday use.

 

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