No, it's not an April Fools joke. On Tuesday, Amazon unveiled yet another service aimed to get consumers products faster and easier: The Amazon Dash Button. The concept of pushing a button to order common household products at one point seemed like a fantasy, and now it's here.
The Dash Button is a small, USB drive-sized adhesive button that users can stick, hang, or place anywhere and push to order something via Wi-Fi.
The aim of the Dash Button is to hypothetically eliminate running out of household items – what if you never had to run out of coffee again? Laundry soap? Toilet paper? Trash bags? Soda? Now it's possible. If you find yourself running low on those kinds of items, just hit their respective push button, and have it delivered two days later. It almost sounds too good to be true.
The way the Dash Button works is simple. The Wi-Fi-enabled button instantly orders a predetermined amount of product when pushed. The order is made through your Amazon account, so it already has your payment information. Through that account, you set up the size and quantity that comes with each product order. Once the button is pushed, a blinking LED light on the button lets you know an order has been placed.
Learn more in the video below:
The Dash Button is a follow-up to Amazon Dash, which the e-tailer rolled out last year as a way to scan their household groceries with a remote device to create and add to an online shopping list.
With the launch, Dash Buttons are only available for a limited number of common household products like paper towels, trash bags, mac & cheese, coffee, diapers, and brands like Cottonelle, Kraft, Tide, Gatorade, and Bounty. There are 181 products to be exact as of Tuesday on Amazon's Dash Button products page. That count is sure to expand. To help grow the product offering, Amazon is offering the service to product makers.
If Amazon has its way, such products under 55 pounds will soon be delivered by drone.
Dash Buttons are free and are available now to Amazon Prime customers on an invitation-only basis. They can sign up here. It's the latest perk for Prime members, which have included 1-hour delivery in some cities and exclusive TV programming.
Don't worry, Amazon already thought of needing to safeguard the buttons from allowing a toddler or cat to order 20,000 rolls of toilet paper. Once the button is pressed and an order is placed, it can not accept another order until the first one has been delivered.
It will be interesting to see what future effects such technology could have on the distribution industry. Hypothetically, manufacturer's could develop their own 'Dash Buttons' that distributors could use to re-order their products. Even more interesting will be if Amazon has any future plans for AmazonSupply-specific buttons, which would allow customers do instantly order tools, safety products and other industrial goods right through the e-tailer instead of a traditional distributor. That's all speculative, of course, and would likely be years down the road if it happens, but worth pondering.