Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wants his company to integrate with customers’ lives in as seamless a way as possible. Its various innovations—one-click ordering, its Prime free-shipping program, and so on—are all designed to radically reduce the amount of time associated with finding and ordering products. But just how streamlined can they actually make that process?
Pretty streamlined, as it turns out—so long as you’re willing to sprinkle your whole house with branded doodads wirelessly connected to Amazon.com. If you’re running low on razor blades, you can press the button on the Gillette-branded doodad by your sink, and two days later an Amazon package containing new razor blades will show up at your door; if you’re out of laundry detergent, you can simply press the doodad attached to your washer to order another gallon of Tide; if your baby runs out of diapers… well, you get the idea.
Amazon Dash Button, as the initiative is called, is invite-only, and will launch with a limited number of commercial partners. By making the ordering process for household staples as seamless as possible, Amazon obviously hopes to coax customers into using the company as its go-to hub for things they’d ordinarily buy at a brick-and-mortar store. The Dash Button is also a way for Amazon to dip its toe into the nascent industry developing around the Internet of Things; as homes become more connected to the Web, more opportunities will abound to make various devices “smarter.”
And in case you were wondering: No, Amazon isn’t playing an April Fool’s Joke. After the Dash Button rolls out this fall, it will be interesting to see how many partners potentially jump on board—and how Amazon’s rivals will respond. Are you willing to layer your whole house with little Wi-Fi-enabled buttons?