Laziness and convenience go hand in hand, but Amazon's latest creation has taken the former to extraordinary new heights. That in itself is an astonishing feat, considering how easy it is to order almost anything through a few mouse clicks - a sofa, TV, food, you name it.
The innovations of new technology continue to inspire. Whereas some use technology to improve the well-being of their city, Amazon has crafted the Amazon Dash Button, a Wi-Fi-linked sensor. It adds a whole new layer of convenience when it comes to replenishing frequently-used items.
When the button is pushed a green light will pop up, and Amazon immediately begins to fulfill your order. It's an Amazon Prime-only service for now, so count down 2 days from the time you hit the button and your items will magically appear on the porch.
The Dash Button launched with 18 different partnered brands. That obviously puts a limitation on choice. Looking for disinfecting wipes? Only Clorox are available in this category. Sorry, Lysol.
Amazon intends the Dash Buttons to be strewn across the house or office. They have reusable adhesives on the back and a slot to place a hook in for hanging. That sounds dangerous, doesn't it? The accessibility, not the hook. Say a Dash Button is placed in the bathroom, right beneath the toilet paper. And a 7-year-old kid starts mashing the button. Or the dog, even. Because the fun of button pushing is not limited to any one species.
Does that mean the kid or the dog just made 50 distinct orders of toilet paper? Fortunately, no, they did not. The Dash Buttons have a built-in safety mechanism. After one press, it will no longer make additional orders until the first one has arrived at the house.
Enabling the button in the first place requires the use of the Amazon smartphone app or doing it on the computer. Initial set up involves synchronizing the button to order the correct product you want in the correct amounts. The enabler gets a smartphone notification whenever an order is made, and is given a 30-minute cancellation window. No room for buyer's remorse here.
Through the app, the one-touch safety mechanism can be turned off, if you really want that. Probably not a wise move, unless you trust everyone with Dash Button access to not flood your doorstep with a million Gilette razors.
The buttons are the basic consumer side of this announcement. For businsess and advanced users, Amazon has made available the Dash Replenishment Service. It forgoes the physical button and allows the Dash Button technology to be implemented straight into one's own hardware - such as a coffeemaker that triggers an Amazon order for more coffee beans when it senses it's running low on them.
Back to the physical buttons: Their largest drawback is probably the inability to see the real-time price of the product you're ordering. Amazon prices fluctuate often, and it'd be nice to know what the price is at the time of your dramatic button press. Sure, you could take the few seconds to look it up on your phone or back at your computer. But when the whole concept of the button is optimizing convenience, the price should definitely show.