Amazon Dash Buttons: Everything is just a ‘press’ away

Article By : Max Maxfield

There are about 100 different versions of Amazon Dash Buttons, which are wireless plastic pods that you can stick or hang anywhere around your house to take convenience of shopping one step further.

Time and again, we come across certain products or technologies that may have been thought instantly by just anybody due to the comfort and convenience they could potentially provide, but are then disregarded and completely forgotten altogether for their sheer simplicity. Amazon apparently, spent more time thinking to realise that one particular innovation just proves to be a money-maker.

I just received an email from my chum Rick Curl with the subject line "Why didn’t I think of this?". The message itself read as follows:

It's rare that I see a new invention that's so simple and obvious. This will make someone billions and billions (with apologies to Carl Sagan) of dollars. Why couldn't that someone have been me?

Presently, there are about 100 different versions (more are being added all the time) of these little Amazon Dash Buttons wireless plastic pods that you can stick or hang anywhere you wish around your house.

Each pod is associated with a particular brand of popular household product, such as All, Angel Soft, Tide, Brawny, Cottonelle, Glad, Clorox, Lysol, Gerber, Huggies… and the list goes on. You can download the free Amazon app to your smartphone or tablet to know more about this simple yet innovative technology. Then you order one or more Dash Buttons depending on what you think you're going to want to buy.

When the button arrives, you use the Amazon app to set it up. This involves connecting it to your home WiFi network, and selecting whatever item from this manufacture's family of products you wish to be associated with this button.

Each button costs $4.99, but you receive a $4.99 rebate off the first order associated with each button, so they end up being a no-cost item to you.

You stick or hang each button wherever it makes sense to you (the bottom of the cat's litter tray is probably not a good idea). For example, you'd probably have your Tide button mounted somewhere in your laundry room, while your Glad Bags button might be placed in the pantry where you store your garbage bags.

Whenever you realise you are getting low on a particular item, you simply press the corresponding button, which immediately places an order with Amazon and sends a confirmation message to your smart device.

These little scamps are available only to Amazon Prime members, which means the shipping is free (so long as you discount the fact that you pay an annual fee of $99 to be a member).

Personally, I'm in two minds about this (which is actually pretty good considering the usual state of my poor old noggin). On the one hand I'm thinking: "I could just run down to the store when I need anything." There's also the fact that I tend to always have an "emergency reserve" of every item hidden away somewhere (what, obsessive compulsive and speaking in a silly accent, moi?), so when I run out of anything I simply break out the emergency reserve and then add that item to my ever-present shopping list for the next time I visit the store.

On the other hand I'm lazy. It's the 21st Century for goodness sake. I deserve the luxury of instant gratification; of being able to order whatever I need whenever I need it at the touch of a button and then forgetting about it and releasing my size-16 brain with its "go-faster" stripes to more cerebral pursuits, like deciding on the next type of beer with which to tempt and tease my taste-buds.

What the heck. I just ordered four of these little rascals: Tide, Brawny, Charmin and Glad. Quite apart from anything else, the next time my dear old mom and I are video-chatting on our iPads, I'll take her on a stroll to the laundry room, show her me pressing the Tide button, and explain that a new carton of tide is now racing its way to my side. She'll be able to "dine out" at the hairdresser's for weeks on this.

The worst case scenario is that I use each of the buttons only once (to get my money back) and then forget about them. The best case scenario is that they make my life easier and bring a smile to my face. What say you? Do these buttons herald the dawn of a new golden age, or do they signify the beginning of the end of life as we know it?

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