Sunday May 14, 2017

Turn anger into charity with the push of a button

The 'Dash button', which is connected with the Amazon app through Wi-Fi, is brand specific and the company has tied up with household names such as Tide, Huggies and Gillette.

The 'Dash button', which is connected with the Amazon app through Wi-Fi, is brand specific and the company has tied up with household names such as Tide, Huggies and Gillette. (Amazon)

Listen 5:53

The Amazon Dash button is a oval about five centimetres long with a product logo on it. Press the button and Amazon ships that product to you. It's frictionless shopping: something not everyone thinks is a good idea.

Nathan Pryor is a software developer and tinkerer. He describes the Dash button as "an instant gratification of consumerism at its worst."

Nathan wanted to take the impulsiveness of Amazon's button and channel it into something constructive. His answer was to make a button that makes a small donation to the American Civil Liberties Union whenever it's pressed.

The button came about as an outlet for political frustration. He says he got the idea from his friend Catherine.

"We were talking over drinks one afternoon, and she was complaining that it would be great if she had a button that she could push every time [U.S. President] Trump did something that annoyed her. I chuckled and then I thought, 'I could do that!'"

Other people have hacked the Dash button to do things from ordering pizza, to starting a coffee maker, to tracking baby poops

While Nathan's button was mostly made as a one-off experiment, he has had requests from people to make similar buttons to support other organizations, from Planned Parenthood to the NRA.

"I don't support all the organizations", Nathan says, "but I support making it easier to making it easier to donate to what you believe in."