In 2015 Amazon introduced its Dash Buttons in the States. The idea was simple: a physical touch button dedicated to ordering a specific item with just one press. And now Dash Buttons are available in the UK.
Think of a Dash Button like extracting Amazon's one-click order service, available to its Prime subscription customers, and rendering it in physical form. The dinky buttons can be stuck onto a variety of surfaces or hung up to make them conveniently accessible.
One Dash Button is setup per specific product, of which there will be over 40 brands at launch in the UK. If you're out of Finish dishwasher tablets, or Whiskas cat food, for example, there are different Dash Buttons available for a one-press purchase.
Each Dash Button costs £4.99 and comes with £4.99 credit - so are effectively free of charge. As Prime customers receive unlimited free next-day delivery, receiving Dash products won't cost any extra. It is possible to hand over a Prime Button to a non-Prime customer, but they will incur delivery charges per order.
Dash is setup to avoid duplicate orders, so will only accept the first press and, therefore, order - until that order has been fulfilled. For products with multiple purchase options - say a 24 pack or a 12 pack, for example - you will need to pre-set the preference as the button can only order one specific.
Dash Buttons are setup via Wi-Fi through the Amazon Prime app, but once linked will operate independently. One press shows a blinking light, which turns green after around 10-15-seconds to demonstrate the order is accepted. An alert notification will follow to your device. And that's it, job done. Dash Buttons' batteries are said to last for years too.
At present the Dash service is only available for next-day delivery. While Amazon Now is available for deliveries as fast as one-hour in London, that serivce isn't part of the Dash Buttons programme - yet, anyway.
The next step will be for full device integration, which is something we anticipate to hear more about at the IFA tech show. When a dishwasher runs out of detergent, for example, it will know to auto-order on your behalf, which is the next step in smarthome evolution. The wonders of the automated world are just on the horizon - watch this space.