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Amazon Moves "Buy Now" Into the Physical World, With the Dash Button 187

Zothecula writes The Amazon Dash Button is a small device that you can stick to walls or a variety of household appliances. Each button is associated with a certain brand or product, and when you set it up (via smartphone) you associate the button with a specific size or quantity (like, say, two 12-packs of Starbucks K-cups or one 2-pack of 50 oz. Tide detergent) and shipping speed. When you start to get low on said product, mash the button and Amazon takes care of the rest.
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Amazon Moves "Buy Now" Into the Physical World, With the Dash Button

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 02, 2015 @12:38AM (#49389705)

    This one of those ideas perfectly balanced on the razor's edge between believability and absurdity that make the reader question whether it just might possibly be true.

    (Pity it's April 2nd, which just means that somebody at Amazon is merely bonkers.)

    • It's still April 1st somewhere in the Pacific.
    • No, we're still on April 1st in California. They're just messing around with the date.

      I know not everyone is in California, but this is the first time I'm seeing a date and time on Slashdot that's not using the local time of my browser.

    • by Begemot ( 38841 )

      Or it could be a real product: https://www.amazon.com/oc/dash-button

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Alien54 ( 180860 )
      I can just imagine the young child repeatedly mashing the button because it is such a tempting thing to do.

      "Don't push the Red Button"

      "Don't push the Red Button"

      "Don't push the Red Button"

      "Don't push the Red Button"

      oops
      • RTFA (Score:4, Informative)

        by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Thursday April 02, 2015 @09:23AM (#49390955) Journal

        TFA states that the button-based orders are disabled after the first one, until the first order arrives. You're not going to have a child go manic on this thing, and end up with a pallet of Tide.

      • I was more thinking what happens when your pets step on it...

    • by rhsanborn ( 773855 ) on Thursday April 02, 2015 @09:32AM (#49390997)
      Amazon does ridiculous stuff like this regularly. Free shipping for Prime members was a crazy idea when it was first introduced. Now several companies have copied their prime model. I don't think these buttons are the end-game. They may be a wedge/marketing gimic that gets people to start buying household products from Amazon. I buy laundry detergent locally because I usually don't think about it until I'm almost out. Having a button staring me in the face reminds me 1) that Amazon sells it, and 2) that I might want to think about it a few days in advance on needing it. Once I get that habit, it won't be a stretch to get rid of the buttons and simply have a phone app that lets me easily order non-perishables.

      Alternately, Amazon is hoping the price for these buttons becomes negligible as "Internet of Things" chips ramp up. Either way, homeowners buying name brand products through Amazon without even thinking about the price, is good for Amazon.
    • The Dash button might be useful in the office or the enterprise, especially if it could be configured to send the order requests to purchasing:

      1: You are running out of tape media, and it is time for a quarterly offsite in a few weeks. Mash the button, get the tapes in a few days, continue on.

      2: The office supply cabinet is low on pens. Mash the button for the style of pens that is needed, go on one's day.

      3: Paper is low. Hit the button by the copier.

      I can see a number of uses for this device, more th

  • The only problem is, most of this stuff is cheaper at Costco — when they are having a sale, one can load-up until next year's sale of the same commodity.

    But this seems like it would be darn convenient. So much so, I'm prepared to revisit the price difference. Everyone here is busy and if a single button-press can really replace a trip to the store, it just might be worth it...

    • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Thursday April 02, 2015 @12:54AM (#49389757)

      The only problem is, most of this stuff is cheaper at Costco — when they are having a sale, one can load-up until next year's sale of the same commodity.

      But this seems like it would be darn convenient. So much so, I'm prepared to revisit the price difference. Everyone here is busy and if a single button-press can really replace a trip to the store, it just might be worth it...

      Not everyone has room for costco's usual super-sized product packages, I really have no room to store a 6 pack of ketchup, #10 cans of corn, or a 24 pack of paper towels, and many items would expire before I can use them. While I might save money by buying in bulk, without unlimited storage space, I appreciate using Amazon for just-in-time delivery even if I spend a little more money. Plus, as you say, there's the convenience factor -- going to Costco ends up taking at least a few hours from start to finish.

      • The only problem is, most of this stuff is cheaper at Costco — when they are having a sale, one can load-up until next year's sale of the same commodity.

        But this seems like it would be darn convenient. So much so, I'm prepared to revisit the price difference. Everyone here is busy and if a single button-press can really replace a trip to the store, it just might be worth it...

        Not everyone has room for costco's usual super-sized product packages, I really have no room to store a 6 pack of ketchup, #10 cans of corn, or a 24 pack of paper towels, and many items would expire before I can use them. While I might save money by buying in bulk, without unlimited storage space, I appreciate using Amazon for just-in-time delivery even if I spend a little more money. Plus, as you say, there's the convenience factor -- going to Costco ends up taking at least a few hours from start to finish.

        I regularly order 50lb bags of rice, jugs of juice, fruit 10lbs, all using my phone and the delivery person happily hefts it up the walkway to my door, along with a bevy of other items. I don't even have to talk to the guy - he leaves it in my safebox behind my side yard.

      • I'll pay a few bucks to not have to deal with the hoards of people at Costco, and not stand in a line 7 deep because they only ever have 3 registers open with 150 people in the store, each with an order of 10+ items. And, Amazon doesn't default to treating people like criminals with their mandatory loss prevention check at the door.

      • I figure this Amazon Dash is why they are pushing drones so hard. Imagine a future where everything we need is delivered straight to our homes as we need them.
    • The only problem is, most of this stuff is cheaper at Costco — when they are having a sale, one can load-up until next year's sale of the same commodity.

      Is it truly cheaper at Costco once you factor in all the costs? Are you accounting for your time, gasoline, wear on your car, opportunity cost, membership fees, etc. Are you accounting for the fact that many people don't live conveniently close to a Costco (I'm one of them)? Are you accounting for the fact that many people don't have the storage space or vehicle capacity to transport a pallet of toilet paper to their house? What about those people who don't own a car like many in NYC?

      My point is that th

  • Accidental orders? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by berchca ( 414155 ) on Thursday April 02, 2015 @01:02AM (#49389765) Homepage

    Step 2: Add a child-resistant packaging for the button, so your 2-year-old doesn't order you fifty jugs of Tide.

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday April 02, 2015 @01:20AM (#49389781)

      Step 2: Add a child-resistant packaging for the button, so your 2-year-old doesn't order you fifty jugs of Tide.

      RTFA. The button is idempotent, so multiple pushes result in only one shipment. It resets when your package arrives.

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        Step 2: Add a child-resistant packaging for the button, so your 2-year-old doesn't order you fifty jugs of Tide.

        RTFA. The button is idempotent, so multiple pushes result in only one shipment. It resets when your package arrives.

        So the child only gets to order a new jug of dishwashing liquid every day or so.

        • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

          ...and the purchase is logged on your phone and you can cancel it. So, every few days assuming you never check on any of your tech at all.

        • by rioki ( 1328185 )

          Is is so hard for you to put the button outside of the 2-year-old's reach; you know the same way you put the actual detergent out of it's reach? Then again, when my child was 2, the detergent was under the sink ("within reach"), but proper parenting prevented any disasters, but YMMV.

        • Put the button inside a child-proofed cabinet... such as the same cabinet where you would store the detergent to prevent your broodling from chugging it?

          Wait, that's the exact intended purpose!

  • This + Amazon Wine + Amazon Drones = WIN

  • by meglon ( 1001833 ) on Thursday April 02, 2015 @01:23AM (#49389785)
    Sorry, i've learned my lesson pushing random red buttons. I still argue that a button that will vaporize 1/3rd of a planet from the core out SHOULD have had better protection from people like me, or at least a label with a warning. FINE, a label with a warning in MY language!

    Seriously, though, isn't this taking "lazy" to a whole new level? Or have we been at that level, and no one mentioned it to me?
  • The could make one to magnet onto the fridge with a color e-ink display and a watch crown to cycle through the items in your purchase history & find the one whose last can you just opened. If they'd build a set of gps-like transmitters that reside in 6-way receptacle adapters (providing mapping capability for your vacuum) they could prioritize the items appearing in the dash display based on the location of the thing in your house.
    • If you could order anything with it, you'd have to pay for it. By limiting themselves to a small number of brands (currently everything seems to be Kraft or Proctor & Gamble) they can get presumably the suppliers to pay for it as part of their advertising budget. I can imagine the pitch now: "Let people go to the store and they might buy a cheaper brand. Pay for this button and you've got a customer for life."
      • Pay for this button and you've got a customer for life.

        Joke's on them, I'm going to get both a Gain and a Tide button!

        Oh wait.

  • for one particular, favourite whore ? Or for a BMW Z-3 ?
  • It seems to be limited to certain products. If I could pick the product myself, I'd like this. For instance I always forget to order water softener salt until it's too late for instance - would be nice to just stick this on the water so I can press as I'm loading the last of the salt in. As far as problems go it's true that world poverty is probably the greater issue facing humanity, but it's equally true that this is a nice bit of fluff that if works as advertised could well be handy.
    • If I could pick the product myself, I'd like this. For instance I always forget to order water softener salt until it's too late for instance - would be nice to just stick this on the water so I can press as I'm loading the last of the salt in.

      A better solution would be a QR code sticker. You can change the water filter, then scan the code with your phone. The transaction goes through your phone anyway... assuming you left bluetooth on, which I imagine is the technology used for these devices. Better to just use the phone to begin with.

      If Amazon would just slap a QR code on everything they sell, you could use your phone to buy another one. It might also be used for verification that a picking robot has located the correct item.

      • If Amazon would just slap a QR code on everything they sell, you could use your phone to buy another one. It might also be used for verification that a picking robot has located the correct item.

        Couldn't they use the older barcode that's already on everything? I understand that a QR code contains more data, but if grocery stores can manage with the old barcodes, why couldn't Amazon?

        • Couldn't they use the older barcode that's already on everything?

          They could, but a QR code sticker would take you straight to the product ordering page whether you used their app or not. I'm pretty sure the Amazon app already does that, anyway?

        • The same-day Amazon Fresh service seems to have such thing (I found it when searching to see if this new product was a joke).

          https://fresh.amazon.com/dash/ [amazon.com]
  • The "button" connects to a local wifi and all it does is send a serial number to Amazon. The user just associates that number with a standing order. When the button is pressed the standing order is processed and the item or items are shipped.

    It is pretty cool in it's simplicity.

    To those who call this lazy, I prefer to call it efficient with my time. Why do you drive a car? Are you just too lazy to walk? This is actually very good for people with ADD. We can't seem to remember to do things from one minute to

    • This is actually very good for people with ADD. We can't seem to remember to do things from one minute to the next.

      Dear jklovanc,

      your comment makes a lot of sense, however - that AA battery is fully charged, I have to remove it from the charger.

      Hey, the washing cycle is over, I need to put clothes in the dryer.

      It's 10:45, I should really start thinking what I'm going to prepare for lunch...

  • I know exactly what would happen in my case. I'd forget I'd pushed the button and end up deluged with toilet paper.

    • As many have said, multiple button pushes will have no effect as a new order is placed only after the current order has been received.

  • I know it's a joke, but this does pretty much sum up the 'internet of things'.

    * Sigh *

  • by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Thursday April 02, 2015 @04:58AM (#49390141)

    Why use the button? Are you too lazy to use a smartphone app?
    Why use a smartphone app? Are you too lazy to use a website on a desktop?
    Why use a website? Are you too lazy to pick up a phone and call?
    Why pick up a phone and call? Are you too lazy to write an order and mail it?
    Why write and order and mail it? Are you too lazy to go out to a store and get it yourself?
    Why go to a store? Are you too lazy to make it yourself?

    What one person calls lazy is what another person calls efficient. Everyone is not like you. Stop judging other people based on your own experiences. Their's have been different.

  • Frequently Bought Together:

    Molly-Guard child resistant enclosure: $3.95
    • You just know that people with no kids would buy that too, just so that they could re-enact launching a missile every time the kitchen towels were running low.
  • to WallE as people become fatter and fatter from less physical activity. Why bother going outside when one can lie on their floaty chair and press a button?

    • Or, this will give them more time to be able to actually make it to the gym.

      What is up with this crazy backlash against any sort of convenience these days?

      I wish Slashdot were like the good old days when we could just say: "Cool use of technology! I like how they optimized the battery efficiency to allow it to be disconnected for a long time yet still connect to wifi! I don't know if this fits my lifestyle - but I could see quite a few people using it."

      For myself: I signed up to get a few. I mean, why not

  • Instead of "running out" of something, use the backup system. It's useful for things like laundry detergent, coffee, water filter, toilet paper, etc.

    Always have two of everything. One that you're currently using, the other is the backup. When you finish the one you're using and open the backup, it's time to buy another one. That leaves you plenty of time to do so, usually at least a week depending on the item. Put it on your groceries list.

    No need for such widgets or online ordering.

  • Now if only the delivery worked better. At my house, they normally don't even ring, and leave all the packages at a small store nearby, where you have to pick them up at their not-so-long business hours. So much for the convenience factor.
  • The "Buy Now with One Click" sucks bad enough on a desktop or laptop. It's even worse on Android devices. I actually read part of the Amazon appstore terms of service and it states that by using their appstore, you agree to this "one click" BS and that all sales are final. Way too easy to buy an app you didn't intend to purchase.
    Now they're going to have a physical button that can buy things if you knock it on the floor or the cat steps on it? I can just imagine a 2 year old playing with this thing and

  • This will be great, until the day you discover your toddler has been repeatedly mashing the Dash button while you weren't looking. :-)

  • ... I'm fine with this [imgur.com].

He who has but four and spends five has no need for a wallet.

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