Forget the Store, Amazon is Digitizing the Home

Amazon set the Internet aflutter last week when it announced its latest digital innovation the Dash Button. When news broke of the device that allows shoppers to seamlessly reorder products in an instant without touching a computer or mobile device, many dismissed the Jetsons'-style innovation as an April Fool's Day prank, but the technology is very real and could be a game changer for Amazon and the retail and manufacturing industries.

The Dash Button is a finger-sized plastic button that is installed in the home via adhesive and allows users to reorder common household items by simply pressing it when supplies are running low. Each button corresponds to a unique product — over the washing machine a Tide button could be lying in wait for detergent levels to reach bottle shaking levels, while up in the kitchen the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese button can be stuck to the pantry door and pressed when the last box is cracked open.

Amazon Prime users are currently able to receive the Dash Buttons on an invite-only basis as the retailer tests the service before an anticipated wide-scale rollout. According to the new tech's landing page the "Dash Button is simple to set up. Use the Amazon app on your smartphone to easily connect to your home WiFi network and select the product you want to reorder with Dash Button. Once connected, a single press automatically places your order. Amazon sends an order alert to your phone, so it's easy to cancel if you change your mind. Unless you elect otherwise, Dash Button responds only to your first press until your order is delivered."

In anticipation of a successful launch Amazon has already announced Dash Replenishment Service (DRS) and is inviting product manufacturers to begin implementing the Dash concept into their designs. Manufactures can build a physical button into their device or measure consumable usage that automatically triggers a reorder when supply levels are low. Top manufacturer's including Britta, Whirlpool and Brother have already signed on the DRS and will be among the first to implement DRS when in launches this fall.