Let us have a moment of silence for Amazon’s Dash buttons, one of the few truly great “technology will simplify your life” ideas to come out of the smart home revolution. Dash buttons felt like something you might find in a mid-20th-century world’s fair, a simple button that would reorder home basics with a single press. As someone who never remembered to buy toilet paper before it was too late, Dash buttons were a blessing in disguise. Sadly, the good times have come to an end.
Amazon announced it will stop supporting Dash buttons on August 31, 2019; the retailer stopped selling the devices earlier this year. Still, for those who invested in the little buttons that could, the news is disappointing.
If you’ve got a bunch of buttons that will soon be useless, you have two options. One is sending them back to Amazon to be recycled. Using Amazon’s recycling program, you can send your Dash buttons back at no cost to yourself. Head over to the Amazon recycling program site, and enter your information. The company will send you a free UPS shipping label that you can print off to ship the device for free. Rest easy knowing that even if you lost a little bit of money on the Dash buttons you bought, they won’t end up in a landfill.
However, if you don’t feel like giving up your electronics just yet, or you’re a home tinkerer, Amazon Dash buttons make a fun starting place for DIY projects. With a little bit of effort and carefully following instructions, you’ll be able to turn your Dash buttons into helpful post-Amazon tools. Here are the five best hacks for Amazon Dash buttons. Make sure you try these before Amazon drops support on August 31. You’ll need their set-up process to make these tools work.
Here’s what to do with your Amazon Dash buttons.
Make a medication reminder
No matter what projects you want to try with the Dash button, make sure you watch this video first. It contains the easiest explainer of how to find the MAC (media access control) address for your dash button, which will come in handy for each of the following projects.
This is one of our favorite Dash hacks because it serves an actual purpose. If you don’t press your Dash button by a certain time it will assume you haven’t taken your medicine and shoot you a reminder. This can be especially helpful when monitoring self-administered medicines with kids: Pressing the button is fun, and if they forget, parents get a reminder to check-in.
Call an Uber
Calling an Uber requires too many steps when you’re running out the door. This handy hack means you can just hit a button instead of pulling out your phone and booting up the app to call a call. Maybe that sounds lazy, but think about it: Nothing delays getting ready like looking at your phone. This hack forces you to get your shoes on and head out the door.
Track working hours
Any freelancer worth their salt will tell you keeping track of your hours is vital. This Dash hack lets you make your own time clock for when you’re working at home. Just press the button when you start working and press it again when you stop. It will update your time on a spreadsheet for easy organizing when you make your timesheet.
Make your own doorbell
Our favorite hack requires a little more than a Dash button to pull off. You’ll also need a Raspberry Pi 3 to get this project running. Once you do, you’ll have a cheap makeshift doorbell for your home, your kids’ playhouse, or wherever else you need to be secure. It might not be too fancy, but you’ll probably have the most whimsical-looking doorbell.
Rickroll a friend
If you feel like you’re up to a more complicated hack, then you might as well put those efforts toward the dumbest trick possible. That’s right, the Rickroll. This Dash effect allows you to open a browser window that plays “Never Going To Give You Up” by Rick Astley whenever you press its button. Why would you ever need this? Who knows.