How do you know something you buy is essential? You wake up one morning, perhaps after a rough night. At some point between getting out of bed and leaving your home you reach for it absent-mindedly and it’s not there. Your morning is utterly ruined.
The problem is that it’s something so ubiquitous you don’t think about it all that much, and unless you specifically take note of it needing to be replenished you’re going to run out and have to do without till you can pop to the store. It’s not life or death (unless it’s medication, in which case you absolutely must make explicit alarms and reminders) but it ruins your day.
Amazon wants to make that a thing of the past with the Dash Button. The original Dash service was a barcode-reading stick that users would wave over an object and automatically order it, to have it arrive two days later in the mail. During that trial Amazon noted that users tended to order the same few things over and over again, and that they wouldn’t always have the Dash stick on them, so they would forget to order stuff they need. The Dash Button changes it that because you don’t need to carry it around the house.
The Dash Button’s a tiny oval device you stick to your fridge or to the wall. It has a single button and an LED, and every Button is linked to a single brand, such as Tide or Gatorade. Each button’s can be configured to order an item through your phone, and when the button’s pressed it will flash its LED to signal that it’s ordered that item automatically. It’ll also only order each item once, so repeated pressings by accident (or pranky malice) won’t result in additional orders, and whenever an order’s made you will get a notification on your phone. That way you can review the order and cancel it at any time if you wish, or you can let it do its thing.
It all sounds kind of stupid at first, but it makes a ton of sense when I think about it. Putting aside Amazon’s capitalistic motives for making you dependent on their service, you can order a button for the things you need most importantly and often, and place it where you use those. So a Tide button next to your washing machine, so when you realise you’re low on washing powder you hit the button. You can stick a button in your medicine cabinet in your bathroom, so when you’re shaving every morning and realise you’re running low on blade catridges you hit the button there an then. Same goes for coffee, or deodorant, or Gatorade. It’s lazy as hell but so, so convenient.
Amazon’s Dash Button is immediately available, but Amazon Prime users can request an invitation. Invitations are only open to registered Amazon Prime users and citizens of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. Read more about the Dash Button here.