Amazon Dash Button Is a Branded Device that Instantly Reorders Stuff

By: George Hancock Jr.  |  March 31, 2015

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Amazon is an incessantly innovative force in retail. In case you didn’t know, the company wants the FAA to approve the use of drones for parcel delivery. In a separate bid to revolutionize how we shop and receive goods, Amazon created Dash, a little handheld gadget that adds stuff to your Amazon shopping cart after you simply scan a bar code or speak the name of a product (e.g. “ketchup”) into its microphone. Now you don’t even have to check out from your shopping cart. Just press the button on one of your branded Dash Button devices.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say you’re about to run out of shaving cream. Somewhere near where you keep your shaving cream, you can stick a “Gillette” button. Gillette is a common shaving cream brand. Use an app to set that button to order a specific product, like a 16 oz can of Gillette Fusion Pro Glide. After that, press the button and the order is processed automatically. You don’t have to do anything else unless you want to cancel the order. In that case, use the app or the website. If you have children, you don’t have to worry too much about hiding the button from them. The device doesn’t order anything that hasn’t been received yet. So, pressing the button doesn’t result in anything if the product that button is for is still in transit to your home. There is an option to turn that feature off, if you want to do so. Today, there are 255 products in the list of “Dash Products.”

The worst downside, for the moment, is that Dash Button is only available to Prime members, by invitation only. You’ll need a smartphone and a credit card to make it work. There’s no magnet with which you can attach your buttons to metal things, but there is an adhesive strip that comes with each Dash Button. You also get a protective case-like thing that has a hole in it, for hanging your button from hooks or attaching it to your key chain. I’m not sure you could avoid accidents for long if you keep it on your key chain, though.

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