Amazon’s Dash buttons have somewhat revolutionized how we shop with them. Currently, there are over 100 different buttons that can thoughtlessly order you anything from condoms to pet food. The button uses wifi to connect to your home network, and then Amazon’s AWS IoT; a sophisticated cloud service you didn’t know you knew about (i.e., Netflix uses Amazon Web Services).
Since the launch of the Dash button, manufacturing giants have been eager to join in. The simple setup paired with the sub $5 price point appealed to many, but it wasn’t long until people started thinking ahead. The button has always been limited to ordering a predetermined product; until now.
Before introducing the customizable button, consumers resorted to simple “hacks” that would let the device order completely different products or serve other purposes. Now, the AWS IoT button is a developer kit in itself, allowing users to manipulate its functionality out of the box.
Theoretically, the button can be programmed to provide an array of functions: counting, initiating and pausing, supplementing other smart home accessories, and perhaps eventually tracking your dog.
What makes this idea, so fun and potentially wildly successful is the ease of use and infinite possibilities. One no longer needs to be an expert programmer to get one device to communicate with another, and future applications are virtually limitless considering the growth we see in internet connected devices.
Amazon launched the programmable button as a limited release at a $15 premium over the original dash buttons. Currently, all the units have been sold, and they’re asking that you sign up for email alerts to be notified of its availability.
What types of whacky things do you want to make your dash button do? Do you think that Amazon is still limiting the potential of its “do-it-all” button?