Amazon launches Dash-based programmable IoT button – sells out within a day

Amazon launches Dash-based programmable IoT button – sells out within a day
Editor at TechForge Media. Often sighted at global tech conferences with a coffee in one hand and laptop in the other. If it's geeky, I'm probably into it.

(Image Credit: Amazon)

AWS (Amazon Web Services) is popular, the IoT is hot, and when you combine the two in a product for developers it sells out within a day. 

Based on the single button 'Dash' hardware by Amazon – which has been used in the past to order items with a button press – the AWS IoT version is a "Limited Release Programmable Dash Button" for developers to get started with AWS IoT, AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon SNS, and many other Amazon Web Services without writing device-specific code. 

The key components of AWS IoT are: 

  • Message broker: secure communication mechanism for messaging, using MQTT for publish and subscribe, HTTP REST for publishing. 

  • Rules engine: provides integration with other AWS services. 

  • Thing registry: organizes resources associated with each device. 

  • Thing Shadows service: provides representations of devices in the AWS cloud. 

  • Thing shadow: a JSON document used to store and retrieve current state information for a thing (device, app, etc.) 

  • Device gateway: enables secure and efficient communication with AWS IoT. 

  • Security and identity service: provides shared responsibility for security, via credentials. 

"You can code the button's logic in the cloud to configure button clicks to count or track items, call or alert someone, start or stop something, order services, or even provide feedback," the device's site states. "For example, you can click the button to unlock or start a car, open your garage door, call a cab, call your spouse or a customer service representative, track the use of common household chores, medications or products, or remotely control your home appliances." 

"The button can be used as a remote control for Netflix, a switch for your Philips Hue light bulb, a check-in/check-out device for Airbnb guests, or a way to order your favorite pizza for delivery," the site says. "You can integrate it with third-party APIs like Twitter, Facebook, Twilio, Slack or even your own company's applications." 

The possibilities which the IoT enables are endless, and developers clearly see the value which a simple button to harness it can have. Amazon pioneered the now-patented online '1-Click' purchase button on its website, and bringing that simplicity into the physical realm with Dash buttons appear to be just as successful. 

One issue highlighted by Thomas Claburn, a writer for InformationWeek, is that of the environmental impact. The battery in the IoT button lasts for around 1,000 presses – or around two cents a press – and is non-reusable. Claburn highlights that for those interested in hacking there are more economical and environmentally-responsible options for triggering cloud services from a device.

Keep an eye here for when the button is back in stock.

Did you manage to grab a Dash AWS IoT version button? Let us know in the comments.

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