The much-mocked Amazon Dash Button has now launched in the UK for Prime members, bringing the Internet of Things ever closer to the robotic takeover which is now surely inevitable as we all starve to death when our fridges stop doing grocery shopping for us.
That dystopia maybe a little way off, but the new Amazon Dash Buttons will allow you to have any immediately necessary products, from condoms to, bizarrely, nerf guns, delivered to your door within 24 hours of pressing a button.
The button will bluetooth to your phone, which will use the Amazon app to buy a predetermined number of the item your button is for (you need a new button for every item). The buttons come with ‘at least 5 years’ of battery life, and fortunately lock from the time of pressing to the time of delivery, so distracted mums, impulsive toddlers, and successive people in the bathroom don’t all order 10 packets of toilet roll.
The buttons can be ordered from Amazon, and cost £4.99 each, but they come with £4.99 off your first order, making them effectively free. They come branded, and companies from Gillette and Kleenex to Nicorette and Play-Doh have signed up to supply the buttons via Amazon’s distribution centres.
The idea is that each button will be placed next to where you use the item – Olay on the bathroom mirror, Gillette in the shower, Huggies in the baby’s room, Whiskas by the cat bowl – so that ordering replacements is quick and easy.
Amazon are even working on Dash Replenishment, with Grundig, Bosch, Whirlpool and Samsung Printers all developing products which will monitor your usage of the appropriate item – dishwasher tablets, water filters, detergent, printer ink – and order more for you, so you never run out.
However, the buttons, which were initially announced just before April Fools day, leading many to believe them an elaborate hoax, have been mocked and criticised as being lazy and very unfriendly to the environment, requiring a separate delivery to your home for every item when a supermarket delivery can bring everything at once, if you can’t get out.