The Internet of Things (IoT) has long been the dream of large businesses, technological experts, and entrepreneurs alike. Taking every object around us and connecting them in some way to the web at one time seemed like a science-fiction tale, but that dream is quickly becoming a reality.
In fact, the beginning stages may already be here. The recent announcement from Amazon showcasing the new Dash Button has turned more than a few industry heads, not just in how the product will affect customers but in what it means for online shopping and the growth of the Internet of Things. The Dash Button may very well be the first step into a new market poised for explosion. Having products at our fingertips at all times could very well become the new normal as we go about our everyday lives.
When we use the phrase “at our fingertips,” in this case it’s a literal description. Here are the basics in how Amazon’s Dash Button works. Customers get the button, usually with a clear brand or logo on the front, and connect it to their household’s Wi-Fi network. Customers can also select with their smartphone what product from Amazon’s online store the button can order up. All a consumer needs to do is press the button and an order is placed that will send the desired product to the customer, usually after just a day or two since the service is offered through Amazon Prime.
That means fast delivery of items like laundry detergent, bottled water, and razor blades, all with the push of a button. Customers are alerted via their smartphones whenever new orders are made, and customers can cancel the order within 30 minutes of pressing the button. The Dash Button also only orders products once until the item is delivered. This helps prevent multiple orders being placed on accident, such as when a child inevitably finds the button and starts playing with it.
In other words, the Amazon Dash Button makes online shopping and orders incredibly easy. It takes convenience to a whole new level, which is a major selling point of the Internet of Things. For the IoT to truly take off, new products and innovations need to be useful and instantly accessible, especially for people who may not be technologically inclined. That’s why so many industry experts are excited by the Dash Button. It opens up a whole new world where people can become acclimated to the idea of having convenient devices at hand that are connected to the internet.
This is one reason people say Amazon’s Dash Button is suchy a savvy move on the part of the company. Amazon has already experimented with the Internet of Things through its Dash Replacement Service, which looked to install a similar ordering feature directly into objects like washing machines and refrigerators. The main difference was that the process of ordering products was automated. So a washing machine that detected the detergent was about to run out would automatically order the product from Amazon.
While the feature is convenient, expecting consumers to get rid of their old appliances for that one new component was unlikely. But now with the Dash Button, customers can essentially retrofit their appliances, turning dumb machines into smart machines with a simple little gadget that’s easy to use.
The true impact of what this move means for the IoT may not be felt for some years to come, but it contributes to a vision of the future where everything is connected to the internet and each other. With Dash Button, someone can order simple products that run out from time to time. In the future, internet-connected devices may be more varied with more complex features and capabilities. Simply diving into that kind of world would likely overwhelm a lot of people, but simple steps, like those Amazon is offering, may be just what they need to see how convenient the IoT is.
The wait for the Internet of Things may finally be over. With Amazon’s Dash Button, the IoT is now ready to step into our homes and become a part of our lives. People are getting used to the idea of automating many functions of their lives, and any service or device that offers greater convenience will likely be met with interest. Of course, many people will still have questions over security and privacy, not unlike the BYOD security questions posed when mobile devices entered the workplace, but all worries should be resolved as the technology advances.
As time goes on, the IoT will likely take on a more prominent role, to the point where we couldn’t even imagine life without it.