You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Program Amazon's new Dash button for tasks, not products

Engadget Engadget 13/05/2016 Billy Steele
© Provided by Engadget

I have a trio of Amazon Dash buttons scattered around my house to lend a hand when I run low on flushable wipes, whey protein powder and dish soap. There's really no downside to trying them out, since the online retailer reimburses you for the device after your first purchase. Amazon's latest Dash button isn't for re-ordering products though, it's a programmable option that lends a hand with tasks and controlling your IoT devices.

The AWS IoT button connects to WiFi and leverages Amazon's AWS cloud just like the regular Dash tools for buying everyday items. Amazon says the buttons can be easily programmed to count items, call/message someone, stop/start a task, order from a service and more. You can use it as a control to fire up Netflix, switch on a Philips Hue bulb or hail an Uber. It also works with APIs from Slack, Twitter, Facebook and more, so presumably you can set it to send an "I'm on my way" message to your colleagues when you're running late. Of course, the regular buying buttons have already been hacked to do things like count baby poops.

Amazon explains that assigning a task to the button is easy enough that novices should be able to figure it out, yet there's enough flexibility built in for more advanced projects as well. The company's CTO Werner Vogels said on Twitter that if there's a chore you can do with Alexa, you can assign it to one of these buttons. Right now, the new button is listed as out of stock with no indication as to when it will be back. When you are able to place an order, SlashGear reports that the IoT Dash option will cost $20.

Amazon

More from Engadget

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon