Amazon's latest push to make shopping with the company has friction-free as possible has finally arrived in the UK. Amazon Dash buttons are small Wi-fi-enabled dongles that you can attach to pretty much anything in your house.
The idea being that when you run out of an item, you press the branded button, it will sync with your Amazon account and that item will be sent out to you, no fuss.
The buttons, available to Prime users, have been in the US for over a year now, and since launch the amount of partners on board has ballooned to over 150.
In the UK Amazon is starting with fewer brands than are currently available in the US – with closer to 50 signed up – but the companies on board are a nice, eclectic mix.
Dash in the attic
You have everything from Air Wick to Wilkinson, with many coffee, shaving and cleaning products also waiting for their buttons to be pressed.
There is a cost for each Dash button. As per usual, Amazon has changed the $4.99 US price into pounds, so each branded button costs £4.99 but with that purchase you get £4.99 worth of credit with the Dash, so they are free in a very roundabout way.
Some of the brands that stand out – mainly because they aren't coffee or detergent – are Nerf (so when your children run low on those Nerf bullets you can one-click order some news ones) and Durex, for when your condom stash is running low.
According to Daniel Rausch, Director of Amazon Dash, these are brands that have been drawn to the service because of two things: simplicity and convenience.
"We didn't know that toys would be of interest, until Hasbro wanted to offer Nerf and Play-Doh through Dash, said Rausch.
"And while the most-popular items are what you would expect, there is a niche area of products that are less comfortable buying in retail, such as condoms and incontinence products - customers can now buy these from the comfort of their home and they will always be around."
On the Dash
Amazon is also launching a new Dash-based replenishment system that digs a little deeper into the internet of things. It's teamed up with the likes of Grundig, Whirlpool, Bosch and Siemens to integrate Dash into selected products that will tell if you are running out of things like detergent, dishwasher tablets, printer ink, and automatically re-order this stuff for you.
There's no word yet on Amazon teaming up with the likes of Samsung to integrate the technology into a smart fridge – which is surely the Holy Grail for this type of tech – but it's interesting to see Amazon getting into the connected home arena.
"Stay tuned on the fridge," added Rausch.
"When you are taking all of the power of Amazon and putting it into a household product, there's a lot you can do. When you have a scalable service, people go and invent things."