Is Amazon Dash A Gift From God, Or The Devil’s Plaything?
Yesterday, while we were all too busy being distracted by life/our phones, Amazon was announcing the launch of an entirely new way to shop: by pressing a button in your own home.
The Amazon Dash Button is a Wi-Fi enabled plastic controller that connects to your smartphone through the Amazon app. The button(s) can be stuck literally wherever you want in your house, and whenever you’re running low on something, all you need to do is push the button and an order is automatically sent to Amazon.
So far, there are 225 products ellegable for a Dash Button, including Bounty Paper Towels, Clorox Wipes, Cottonelle Toilet Paper, Larabars, L’Oreal products, K-cups, Kraft Easy Mac, Gillette raisers, and an assorted array of items for your pet/baby/cleaning needs.
After pressing the button, you have thirty minutes to cancel your order, and no matter how many times you press it, each order will only be processed once – so on the off chance that your button is in the reach of your baby/pet/drunken self, at least you’ll only end up with one extra box of Larabars and not a lifetime’s supply. Whew.
The timing of Amazon’s launch had many people asking if this was all just an April Fool’s Day joke, which is exactly what Amazon was hoping for. David E. Johnson, CEO of Stretegic Vision LLC noted that the timing got people “talking about Amazon Dash…who would not normally be doing so,” leaving them no choice but to go to the company’s website to see for themselves if this was a hoax or the real deal.
However, the question remains whether the Amazon Dash Button is like a gift from god, or one from the devil.
While, Kinley Pearsall, an Amazon spokesperson, told Marketwatch that we should be seeing the button “as a physical representation of the one-click button from the website,” that can only make our lives easier, it’s impossible to acknowledge the fact that we’re also allowing Amazon unprecedented access into which items we choose to consume, and how quickly we consume them.
The Dash Button isn’t even the full scope of Amazon’s dreams for their innovative new product. The company also announced they were working on a project called Dash Replenishment Service (DRS) which will allow devise manufacturers, like water filters and coffee makers, to integrate either automated ordering buttons into their machines, or hardware which can sense when you’re running low on refillable products, and reorder on your own behalf. The first wave of devices with DRS will be available this fall.
This is the future of consumerism.
For the time, the buttons are being sold exclusively to Amazon Prime customers by invitation only. Although the buttons are free to purchase, the question remains whether that’s too high a price to pay for your freedom to be an active consumer.