Is Amazon’s Dash Button A Prank?

Around April 1, it’s hard to know what’s a joke and what isn’t. – VentureBeat

Amazon is in the news with the launch of their new Dash Button hardware. Press a physical button and instantly order household items such as paper towels, toilet paper, detergent, etc. Press the button and Amazon dispatches the product to you right away.

The Dash Button grew out of Amazon Dash, a hardware product available to customers of Amazon’s AmazonFresh grocery delivery service.

Many people are laughing at Amazon and equating the Dash Button to an April Fools prank. This is shortsighted. Dash Button is just one part of Amazon’s plans for their Dash Replenishment Service. Amazon wants to build Dash functionality directly into devices that utilize consumables.

For consumables that are associated with a device (such as water filters or printer cartridges), device makers have two options for integrating with DRS: they can integrate a physical button right into their device for reordering, or they can measure consumable usage so that reordering happens automatically.

Running low on coffee? Press the Dash button built right into your coffee machine and Amazon will dispatch it to you right away. Running low on printer ink? Washing machine detergent? Press the damn button. In some instances you may not even have to do a thing. A printer could be configured to automatically order ink when it’s running low.

Once you dig deeper it’s a solid concept, even if the Dash Buttons themselves do look like an April Fool’s Day prank.