Amazon wants to turn your house into a shopping cart


Oh wait, this wasn't a joke?
Photo: Amazon
Photo: Amazon

Amazon has made ordering stuff online ridiculously easy with its huge warehouses shipping online orders to Prime members in an instant. Apparently ordering stuff online is just too damn hard though, so today Amazon announced it’s newest creation: Dash buttons.

The new Wi-Fi connected buttons can be placed throughout your home, allowing you to replenish supplies of your favorite products with just the push of a button. Once pressed, Amazon creates an order and sends an alert to your phone so you can cancel if the kids are spamming for more mac and cheese.

My colleague Killian and I debated whether Dash buttons aren’t just an elaborate April Fool’s prank, but it looks like they’re the real deal. Prime members can request an invite to get three free buttons. That’s hardly enough to keep tabs on all the necessities in your house, but could be useful for people who can’t go out to purchase essential items.

One sign that Dash buttons could be a prank is the “limited-time offer” on the company’s site. However, Amazon has also introduced a service it hopes will replace the buttons, called Dash Replenishment Service (DRS). With DRS, hardware manufacturers can essentially bake Dash buttons into their products.

Coffee makers that order beans through Amazon is the ultimate goal, rather than covering your house in buttons. Companies can either add a physical button to their hardware, or use Amazon’s services to measure consumable usage so that goods are ordered automatically.

Amazon is working with companies like Brother, Whirlpool, Brita, Quirky and others to build buttons into printers, washing machines, coffee makers, and pretty much anything else that needs a refill. DSR isn’t practical yet for cheaper items like paper towels, but Amazon hopes in the future sensors become so cheap, everything that ships will have a ‘tap to refill’ button.


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