Use an Amazon Dash Button to Trigger the Vobot

Vobot cannot be triggered by wake words (so far), however, for developers and hobbyists, a $5 Amazon Dash Wi-Fi button can be reconfigured to trigger the voice interaction. Just stick the button to a convenient spot, then you can press the button and say “snooze”/“stop” when an alarm goes off.

Amazon Dash is a wireless button that connects to your home WiFi and Amazon Prime account. When you press the button you can program it using your phone to order a particular branded product from Amazon without the hassle of logging online. Each button is branded and you will only be able to order products from that particular brand.

With a little work, Dash Buttons can actually be modified to perform a variety of tasks. Note that beyond the initial setup, setting up these hacks requires a bit of programming knowledge. As a matter of scope, we won’t be going in-depth into any code. Instead, we’ll be linking to the best setups — their developers have provided instructions for replicating them on your own devices, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get going.

Getting Button Set Up

First, you’ll need to acquire an Amazon Dash Button, which requires an Amazon Prime subscription. Dash Buttons normally cost $5, though they did go on sale for $1 around Amazon Prime Day, and come in a variety of products. Feel free to browse the collection and choose your favorites. However, to make this experiment work, please choose a button with multiple item options. Example: AmazonBasics Batteries Dash Button, allows you select the model/size among 14 products. Note: Prime Surprise Sweets selections are always a surprise and cannot be customized during the setup process, please don’t select the button like this.

Once you’ve got a Dash Button, you’ll need to start setting it up like normal. Follow Amazon’s instructions to set the button up, but stop at the step where it asks you to choose your product to reorder. At this point, quit the app without selecting a product!. Now your button can connect to your wireless network but will not order any products when pressed, thus your house won’t be full of toilet paper or Nerf darts, which is right where we want it.

Link Button with Vobot

This is where some difficulties may arise. now you must figure out the MAC address of the Dash button. Simply press and hold the dash button for 6 seconds, until the light flashes blue, then, connect your laptop to the Wi-Fi hotspot named "Amazon ConfigureMe”, open with any web browser, copy to clipboard or mark down the MAC Address line (it’s a 12 digits string like "40B4CD6C8C7A"). Then switch back to your normal Wi-Fi network.

Open with Chrome/Firefox/Safari, go to [ Settings ] > [ Under the Hood ] > [ Trigger by Dash Buttons ], paste the MAC address of Dash button to the input field, click [ Save ].

Try it Out

Now hit the button on Dash, in about 1~3 seconds, the Vobot will start listening to you!

On each click, the Amazon App may still notify you “choose an item to complete setup”, You may turn off this notification in app’s "Notification Settings”. Or if you are geeky, block the internet access of button on your Wi-Fi router.

How It Works?

To save battery, Dash Buttons only turn on when pressed, which means they send a “hello?” signal to your network every time you push one. Using this signal, we can identify when a button is pressed and use it to send a signal to other apps and services, which is where the fun comes in.

The dash button is an amazing device. The application possibilities are endless.

Note: requires Vobot firmware version 0.76 or higher.