Uncovering the Dash Button Secrets


In my last post regarding the Amazon dash button I mentioned the reputation of the small IoT gadgets as promising hackable devices. Amazon of course didn’t publish the internals of the buttons but provide easy setup routines making it possible for everyone to configure the buttons and use them to make life easier.

As I’m interested in IoT I am curious about the internals… googling then brought some interesting web resources to light which helped a lot to better understand what happens under the hood. The described methods can roughly be assigned to various kind of hacks… hardware hacks direct accessing and reprogramming the controller (credits to dekuNukemMatthew Petroff and Toni Dicola on adafruit.com), 5minute hacks without changing the buttons itself but their functionality (credits to Ted Benson and his Scapy scripts and Andrew Mager) and finally I found one really fascinating contribution regarding the ultrasonic audio configuration (!) for the buttons with iPhones and what the built-in microphone and the iOS app is used for (credits to Jay Greco).

I learned that the hardware consists of an ARM Cortex-M3 (STM32F2) microprocessor that results in combination with a Broadcom WiFi module to a Broadcom WICED device which is currently widely used when it comes to IoT devices (e.g LIFX or Nest Protect or even a Haier Fridge). The dash button additionally connects a microphone, a RGB-led, some memory and attaches a AAA battery, thats it. The remaining part is software development then.


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