Introduction: Alternative to Amazon Dash Button Using NFC Tags
Amazon now offers push button devices for placement around your home to facilitate reordering of staple goods such as laundry detergent. They are called "Dash Buttons".
Presently, the $5 cost of the buttons is refundable upon your first order.
The idea of easy restocking is appealing, but I can't seem to find any products promoted with the Dash Button which I regularly use, so I decided to use my Android phone's near field communication (NFC) capability to duplicate the button in a more open format. I also have quite enough entities on my wifi network at home and prefer not to add several more without a good reason.
Step 1: Resources
To use NFC tags you will need to have an NFC enabled smart phone (at this point in time, that isn't an iPhone).
Head over to the App Store and download NFC Tools: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wakdev.nfctools.pro
Now buy your NFC tags. NOTE: not every smart phone can read every tag! Read the description carefully to check compatibility. I've had excellent results from these Topaz 512 Whiz Tags on my Samsung Note 4: http://amzn.com/B00FS4AF0S
Step 2: Program the NFC Tag
Open up the NFC Tools app.
Click into the Write tab. Click "(+) Add a Record" and then click "URL / URI".
Now enter the web address of the product in the online store. For Amazon, you can use the format:
The part following the ".com/" is the ASIN, the unique identifier in Amazon's catalog. You can find the ASIN number on the product page listed under "Features and Details" or "Product Details".
For example, the ASIN code for Dr. Bronner's unscented baby soap is B00DAI76TC.
Click the "OK" button to save the URL record. Now press the "Write" button.
The app will now ask you to approach the NFC tag to write data to it. Touch the back of the phone directly to the tag and hold it still for a couple seconds. It may be necessary to remove your phone case or qi charging shell in order to allow magnetic field communication.
Upon success, you will see the "Write complete!" popup. Click "OK" and quit out of the program.
Step 3: Test Read the Tag and Put It Up Someplace
Go to your home page on the smart phone and then tap the phone to the tag.
It should instantly launch the Amazon product page, and from there you can put it in your cart or Buy Now with 1-Click.
Now peel the wax paper backing off the NFC tag and place it in a convenient spot. You're done!
As you can see from the pictures, I've got an NFC tag stuck to the inside of the fridge. It brings up the reorder page for the correct water filter so I don't have to struggle to find that information. Likewise other specialized consumables: printer ink, central air filters, vacuum belt or bags, special light bulbs, shower filters, medical supplies, guitar strings, windshield wipers.
Want more ideas?
Here's a related Instructable: stick QR codes on your gadgets to pull up user manuals. https://www.instructables.com/id/QR-Manual-Locator
Here's an interesting project hacking Amazon Dash Buttons: https://medium.com/@edwardbenson/how-i-hacked-amazon-s-5-wifi-button-to-track-baby-data-794214b0bdd8