AmazonDash has yet to prove itself over traditional methods of shopping and tried-and-tested online shopping procedures. It was unveiled at the start of the month as the new way to consume everyday household products at the touch of a button – and no, it wasn’t an April Fools.
With the newly released AmazonDash button you can use voice search to order products on the go, or scan what you need by pointing the device around the kitchen (or bathroom, or living room, for that matter) – a veritable magic wand.
The device connects to your home Wi-Fi and can be synced with your AmazonFresh account, meaning you can order your weekly shop in minutes, perhaps faster and more efficiently than you could with a favourites list on Asda or Ocado. Once your list is collated, you can review your order, pay, and schedule delivery at your leisure.
But is it really sustainable, or even desirable, to replenish all your items from the same retailer week after week, once you’ve installed the device? Variety is the spice of life, after all.
Dash ‘remembers so you don’t have to’ – but are we really that disorganised that we can’t plan our own shopping lists in our heads? Or, alternatively, so über-organised that we must deploy an exact level of control over home supplies, lest we run short of a particular brand of coffee? Having said that, for larger families, or even on a corporate scale, it could mean one less thing for someone to have to think about.
One of the first firms to collaborate with Amazon is Whirlpool, with the launch of a new smart washing machine and dryer which will be able to anticipate when washing supplies are running low. The device can even provide automatic ordering through the ‘Dash Replenishment Service’ – a feature enabling connected devices to order physical goods automatically.
Despite raising eyebrows, the introduction of the button (currently free, but exclusive to AmazonPrime invitees) is a momentous step towards the integration of the much heralded Internet of Things and the smart home. Add to that the fact that Amazon have now been granted the right to test their delivery drones in the US by the Federal Aviation Administration, and the developments seem even more outlandish.
The plot thickens if you start to consider the potential environmental impact of this new way of consuming – but it’s more than possible that many people will be ordering goods this way in the near future.