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Inside the Amazon Dash Button – X-Ray Teardown


The new Amazon Dash Button – now available to Prime members – is the ultimate step in convenience shopping. If you haven’t seen it yet, the Amazon Dash Button allows you to buy a specific product – in this case Huggies diapers – at the click of a button. This little device communicates to your Amazon Prime account using the local WIFI network. The setup of the device is easy, all you need is a smartphone (iPhone or Android) with the Amazon App. Follow a few steps, and your account settings are sent to the Dash Button using the speaker of your phone to the microphone in the Dash. You can actually hear as your data is sent to the Dash!

Now let’s look inside this new Amazon device, starting with a 360 rotation of the Dash and the animated overlay:

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1. Negative side of AAA battery – note 2 of the 3 screws used to keep the Dash together

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2. Detail profile of the push button, and a profile of the PCB showing its many copper layers 

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3. A side view of the complex electronics that drive the Amazon Dash Button
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4. Side view of the positive side of the battery. 
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5. Top view of the positive side of the Dash’s AAA battery. At the edge is the microphone used to receive the configuration data from your smartphone

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6. Top view of the negative side of the AAA battery
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7. Detailed electronics – WIFI radio, power supply module, and the dedicated microprocessor that turns a push button into a buying machine

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Creative Electron Granted Patent for Acoustic Mirror Array


We’re happy to report that we’ve been granted patent US 9084057 titled “Compact acoustic mirror array system and method”.  Microphone or sound detecting systems typically comprise a single microphone physically encased in an isotropic material (e.g., wood or plastic) with an open aperture for omnidirectional or for hemispherical sensitivity. Consequently, the bulk of improvements in modern microphoning technology have primarily been directed to developing better microphonic circuits (e.g., amplifiers, signal processing) or to better microphonic hardware (e.g., piezoelectrics or electromagnetic microphones). Accordingly, there has not been any significant advancement in the use and configuration of specialized materials for the microphone casing or for lensing/amplifying effects.

Therefore, there has been a long-standing need in the sound and microphoning community for new methods and systems that address these and other deficiencies, as further detailed below.

The following presents a simplified summary in order to provide a basic understanding of some aspects of the claimed subject matter. This summary is not an extensive overview, and is not intended to identify key/critical elements or to delineate the scope of the claimed subject matter. Its purpose is to present some concepts in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.

In one aspect of the disclosed embodiments, a microphoning assembly is provided, comprising: a sound directing structure having an acoustic focus, a portion of the structure having a sound-affecting physical property that that directs a wave front of incoming sound to the focus; and a microphone situated substantially proximate to the focus to pick up the directed sound, wherein an increase of at least 10 dB is experienced at the microphone as compared to non-directed sound.

In another aspect of the disclosed embodiments, a method of enhancing the detection of sound is provided, comprising: forming a sound directing structure having an acoustic focus, a portion of the structure having a sound-affecting physical property that that directs a wave front of incoming sound to the focus; and situating a microphone substantially proximate to the focus to pick up the directed sound, wherein an increase of at least 10 dB is experienced at the microphone as compared to non-directed sound.