Amazon’s new Dash Button lets Prime members order a product with a press of a button. You can think of it as a convenient tool or maybe a depressing metaphor. Cloudstitch CTO Ted Benson thought of it as a way to track his baby’s sleeping and pooping habits.
Ted discovered that the Dash Button saves power by turning on only when pushed, which means it needs to connect to the local Wi-Fi network each time it’s activated. Before hacking his Dash Buttons, Ted intentionally left their setup process incomplete so that they won’t trigger an Amazon purchase when pressed. Then he wrote a Python program that detects ARP probes, which networked devices use to ask the router if the IP address it wants to use is already taken. He entered his Dash Buttons’ MAC addresses to the program, and as a result it can identify when they are pressed.
Finally, he gave the buttons new meanings – pressing one button means his baby pooped, while pressing the other means his baby woke up. He then made his Python program post those data to a Google Spreadsheet using his company’s Magic Form tool.
Head to Ted’s blog for the full rundown of his hack.
[via Digital Trends]