Hack your Amazon Dash for one-button donations to the ACLU

Designer Nathan Pryor has converted Amazon's "buy now" button into an easy way to donate to the American Civil Liberties Union whenever he feels the need.

Luke Lancaster Associate Editor / Australia
Luke Lancaster is an Associate Editor with CNET, based out of Australia. He spends his time with games (both board and video) and comics (both reading and writing).
Luke Lancaster
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While having instant access to Cheez-Its and Pop Tarts may be the future we were promised, the Amazon Dash has the potential to do much more.

Nathan Pryor has done just that, converting an Amazon Dash into an easy way to donate to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Pryor writes that the idea came from a friend: "It was my friend Katherine who made the comment 'I wish there was an ACLU Dash button I could push to donate any time I read about the latest offense from Trump.'" Pryor then put his money where his mouth was, cludging together code that would convert a Dash into a way to donate $5 to the ACLU every time he pressed the button.

The Amazon Dash is normally tied to a specific product. Hit the one on your washing machine to automatically order more detergent, the one on your toilet for more toilet paper, the one on your fridge for more Red Bull.

Amazon responded to huge customer demand for a programmable Dash button in 2016 with the Amazon Web Services Internet of Things button, letting you program the single button to do anything you might be able to manage with a single, internet connected button.

The hack required some clever coding, since there wasn't an existing API Pryor could use for the donation process. In the end, he wrote a custom script for his Dash along with the Amazon AWS Lambda service.

There's a link to download the script for yourself from Pryor's Medium page, but Pryor stresses that he can't make claims "as to its suitability or security. It isn't robust in any way -- if they change a field name or the way the donation page works, it'll break... Use it at your own risk."

Have you been using any clever hacks on your Amazon Dash buttons? Let us know in the comments below.

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