Spending some time with the Amazon Dash button: a mini review.
You may have heard about the Amazon Dash button around April Fool's day. It was announced a little early, and many people automatically assumed it was little more than a fun hoax. It wasn't - and the buttons are now shipping to early adopters (clickers?).
Three arrived on my doorstep today, and I've spent some time trying to size them up. These are my thoughts so far.Unboxing
The packaging is designed quite well. The buttons themselves are small, and the packaging was too. It has a clear plastic window on the front allowing you to quickly spot which button is which before you open them. Each button is marked with a brand name, and from my testing they don't appear to be programmable.
As is common with many Amazon branded products, it comes in "frustration free packaging", which I found to be a correct assessment.Setup
These buttons are WiFi devices. Yes, that's right, WiFi devices. To set them up you need to install the Amazon Shopping app on your mobile phone (not simply the "Amazon" app - it failed without an error message several times until I realized I needed a different app). Once you have the correct app, set up is a breeze. It guides you step by step to activating the button, connecting to your WiFi network, and then choosing which quantity of the product you want to order.
The setup works by connecting your smartphone directly to the button, and then passing along your WiFi network credentials. Chromecast owners will recognize the process.
For those curious about the internals of the device, Matt over at Amateur Radio has a tear down with some interesting details. He speculates the cost to make them are probably higher than what Amazon is selling them for. Are brands making up for the difference, or is Amazon taking the loss?http://www.amateurradio.com/inside-the-802-11bgn-amazon-dash-button/Canceling an order
My biggest question revolved around canceling an order once it has been placed, because let's face it, if you use of these you're going to need to at some point. The process is the same as any Amazon purchase. It does send you a notification to your smartphone after an order has been placed, but it took mine almost 10 minutes to arrive. Depending on how quickly Amazon can process orders, that may be too long for an accidental press.
There is a setting that prevents multiple presses from registering multiple orders. It can be overridden, but by default it is designed to save you from 30 orders of Tide showing up at your door.Conclusion
I'm probably not going to be using these things, at least not yet. There is limited brand selection at the moment, but hopefully it will be expanded soon.
I can imagine a future where the inside doors of pantries are lined with these in a vending machine like fashion, allowing us to quickly reorder chips or popcorn when it is running low. Detergent and paper towels are handy too, but they don't appeal to me when I'm hungry, and that's when I'm most likely to press a button :)
Want your own? Stock appears to be low, but hit the link below to keep an eye on the availability of the Tide version:http://www.amazon.com/Tide-Dash-Button-Limited-Release/dp/B00WJ12MQ8/
Here's the official landing page for the Dash button program:https://www.amazon.com/oc/dash-button
As always, I'm happy to answer questions! :) #Amazon #Dash #Button