This is Dawn's test - do not launch

It looked like an April Fool’s joke, even though the page went live on March 31: Amazon would let brands send you stick-on Wi-Fi buttons that, when pressed, would automatically place a re-order for commonly used items like diapers, trash bags and detergent.

But it’s no joke! It’s a way for Amazon to extend its product hegemony, align with brands, reduce friction, and cause nausea in a subset of consumers. It’s rather clever, but threatens to introduce several points of failure for users, the associated brand names, and Amazon customer support.

The Amazon Dash Button is currently available only by invitation to Amazon Prime members.

Why did we get 1,000 rolls of Bounty?

The Dash Button extends Amazon’s burgeoning line-up of services that reduce the fuss of ordering or re-ordering from the e-commerce behemoth. The original Dash (also still available only by invitation) is a combination bar code scanner and voice-recognition tool that’s integrated with Amazon Fresh home delivery. The Dash Button works independently of Fresh. (Fresh now requires a $299 yearly membership. That’s a lot of lettuce, given how many home-delivery services now exist.)

The new button is a tiny Wi-Fi-enabled device that’s configured via a smartphone app to connect to your Wi-Fi network. You can choose which of a brand’s offerings you want to signal for re-order when the button is pressed. It’s adhesive-backed and comes with a hook.


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