Computer Genius Hacks Amazon Dash Button to Donate $5 to ACLU
We all know the Amazon Dash button to be a one-step ticket to replenishing household supplies—laundry detergent, dish soap, paper towels—and your day-to-day necessities—Doritos, GoldFish, Pop-Tarts—for those of us who prefer convenience over human interaction. But did you know you could use the Dash button to support the American Civil Liberties Union and really “stick it to the man”?
Let me tell you who did—Canadian computer whiz Nathan Pryor.
After hearing a friend say how she wished there was an existing button to donate to the ACLU, Pryor came up with an ingenious plan to hack the Dash button to enable people to donate $5 to the ACLU to support the organization’s fight against Trump’s immigration ban.
Now, how did he develop this device? All it took was a customizable Internet of Things (IoT) Dash button from Amazon and some brainstorming for a script to implement into the Dash button. Here is what he wrote about the process in a blog post on Medium:
I dove into the work of hooking it into the script I’d built. It’s supposed to be almost plug-and-play, with a helpful iPhone app to connect and set everything up, but the app was never able to complete the process. After hours of frustration and troubleshooting, I eventually got the IoT button registered manually and linked it to the script I’d written.
With the amount of frustration transpiring around Trump and his executive orders, people can now create their own ACLU Dash button and plant it by their desk, on their kitchen table, in their purse or pocket—heck, they can even tape it to the back of their phones—and whenever they are feeling outraged by our current president, all they need to do to fight back is press that pretty little button and voila!
This goes to show the important role technology plays in the nonprofit sector. ACLU has already raised over $24 million in one weekend and with the push of the Dash button, donations could come pouring in even more. Nonprofits should take note of this and think of strategies to include how they can relate current events to their organization’s cause and push for donations.
If you’re interested in hacking your own Dash button, you can download the script here.