Amazon Dash — It’s Dinner Time!

Yesterday I received an Amazon Dash for ordering IZZE juice.

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I think it is a great device, not that I would order tons of IZZE from Amazon, but at $5 it has wifi module + a micro controller + a LED light + a battery + nice enclosure, and it’s usually in deep sleep which means the device can last for years. That’s a bargain – a similar device would cost $20 – $40, at least before ESP8266 became available.

First thing I tried is to re-purpose it to toggle on/off the poor man’s Nest screen, because the PiTFT screen is quite bright and gets warm, I want to turn it off without unplugging the cord, and turn it back on instantly if needed. And here is it. Note the IZZE sticker color coordinates well with Nest warm yellow color 🙂

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The signal cycle goes through PubNub, which has MQTT at its core, the response time is less than 0.5 second. So it is remotely controlled – if leave poor man’s Nest in office, I can push the button at home to turn it off.

While my daughter is excited about the IZZE toggle button controlling PiTFT screen, my wife asked me to do something more meaningful 🙂 So I made a second try, turned IZZE button to be a “dinner time” call button.

Every time when dinner is ready, I have to shout toward upstairs to get my kids, and more often than not, I couldn’t get them because they have head-phones on.

So I modified a little bit of the code, to listen for IZZE wake up and try to connect to my router, then use that signal to ask Philips Hue lights to blink 3 times.

Now my wife can just press IZZE button in the kitchen, the Hue lights at my kid’s desk start to blink, and that’s dinner time call.

I guess that is more meaningful, at least I don’t have to shout toward upstairs again 🙂

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