Amazon 'Buy' Buttons hit Bathrooms and Kitchens

John Lister's picture

Amazon is launching a range of physical buttons to place around your home and press when you want to reorder an item for purchase. Despite the time of year, it insists the buttons are not an April Fool's Day joke.

The buttons are called Amazon Dash. Each is linked to one of 18 retailers or brands, and you can get hold of buttons free of charge if you are a member of Amazon's Prime program, a subscription service that includes free shipping and online video access. (Source:

The buttons, which appear to be about the size of a USB memory stick, have adhesive stickers so you can place them in an appropriate location in your home. Each button contains a WiFi transmitter so that when you press the button, it automatically sends a 'buy' order to Amazon.

Each Button Bears A Brand

The physical button will be branded with the relevant company detail and will purchase a specific product. Examples include a Gillette button for ordering a replacement razor blade and a Tide button that orders a new packet of laundry detergent. (Source:

Pressing the button places an instant order, with delivery expected to be two days later. There's no need to type in any password or credit card details: the system uses the payment information stored for your 'But It Now' option in your Amazon account.

While there's no security check (so it's a good idea to place the buttons out of reach of young children), you can only place one order at a time. Once an order is active, the button won't work again until the goods have been delivered.

The idea of the seemingly wacky system is to make it easier for people to order relatively inexpensive items that they use and replace relatively frequently.

Auto Re-ordering The End Goal

It's all part of a long-term plan by Amazon. They are building the Dash system so that manufacturers will be able to build the technology directly into home appliances. In turn, customers will use the buttons to reorder supplies.

In the long run, Amazon wants manufacturers to set up the option to automatically reorder products without needing to press a button. For example, a washing machine or coffee maker could track how much detergent or ground coffee you have used and automatically place an order when you are about to run out.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you think the Dash button is genuinely useful or just a gimmick? Would you consider using one and, if so, for what products? Would the convenience of such a set-up outweigh the benefits you might get from shopping around for the best deal on resupplies?

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (3 votes)


Dennis Faas's picture

If it's not an April Fools Joke, I don't see how this would be implemented. The buttons would need to be registered to a WiFi network and that in itself would prove difficult for the average consumer. Plus there's issues with WiFi range: what if the button signal isn't strong enough to reach the receiver? No order would be placed. It also seems like a colossal waste of plastic and printed circuit boards to develop buttons for the sake of easy reordering that could otherwise be done on a smart phone or computer. What happens if the consumer changes brands? The button goes to the dumpster. On the other hand, all of this may not be far fetched as the same or similar technology would most likely be used in 'smart appliances' if and when it does become mainstream.

Boots66's picture

I may try to believe that one, but even if it isn't, how so Amazon and Google to come up with such ludicrous ideas - Amazon's drones - Do we need their 'stuff' that badly or is it time to start showing self-restraint!? Do we need to share everything and do everything on Google as well - Get a life! Get your own life is really what it's about.

georgegrimes's picture

I just watched the video about this on the Amazon web site. During the video, the woman using the service consults her smart phone. Perhaps they are assuming that the user will always have their smart phone nearby and are connecting to it via bluetooth. That would eliminate the need for WiFi connections but I'm not sure how many bluetooth devices you can pair with your phone.

The video does not show enough allow deduction of the technology behind it. The buttons do appear to have stickers on the top so perhaps if you change detergent brands from Tide to Gain, you have to change your preferences on the web site and they send you a new sticker.

rwells78's picture

Are Americans (and/or Canadians) really that lazy and forgetful that we can't make a list or grab our phone or laptop and place an order???

stephen3588's picture

rwells78, I don't see the article stating AmazonDash would only be available in two countries, and this technology has nothing to do with being lazy and forgetful regardless of where you live.

It would just be another consumer tool to purchase products faster and easier.

While I do agree with others here about the WiFi connectivity issues, I can see where this product is just one of many we can expect in the future to make life easier, and I welcome the forward moving advancement of technology in all consumer fields.

Just a mere 10 years ago you probably would have posted "Are we so lazy and forgetful that we can't just WRITE DOWN or REMEMBER our list instead of grabbing our phone or laptop to place an order???"