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Prying Eyes: Amazon's Dash Button

17 Mar 2016  | Brian Dipert

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The only thing inside the box aside from the Dash Button itself is a diminutive quick-start guide. Here's what my Dash Button (3.2×1.2×0.6 inches; 1 ounce) looks like after removal from the box:

Note the small LED above the button, used both when initially setting up the Dash Button and subsequently as visual feedback of a successful order submission. Note, too, the mysterious hole above the Gatorade logo, whose function will be explained shortly:

The DSN is replicated on the unit's backside, along with a QR code, both of which I've again obscured:

Perhaps obviously, the foundation hardware for all Dash Button variants is identical; customisation occurs via the combination of assembly line-programmable firmware, a consumable brand-specific label applied to the device topside and a device-unique DSN sticker on the bottom. The brand label, along with the plastic outer oblong "ring" surrounding the remainder of the chassis, are easily removed:

Label peel-away reveals three Torx screws underneath:

Removing the screws doesn't, however, enable separation of the two chassis halves; the screws' sole purpose seems to be to hold the PCB inside in place. Cracking open the case is alternatively accomplished via deft application of a screwdriver edge to break the around-the-rim glue bond:

Lift off the bottom half of the case and the first thing you'll see is a lithium AAA battery:

It's held in place in part by an easily removed plastic piece:

Somewhat surprisingly, the battery is welded to its associated positive and negative terminals, dooming the device it powers to a finite-duration lifetime, since the battery's also not rechargeable (via Wi-Fi scavenging, a micro-USB tether or some other means). Now look closely above the positive terminal of the battery; what do you see?

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