Over the past several years Amazon has had various releases of their Dash service, which is designed to improve the consumer goods ordering process. The goal is to remove friction in the commerce process and capture more consumer spend by making Amazon the default vendor for consumables. Initially Amazon released a bar coded scanner and later in 2015 issued a button, a WiFi connected device that could be configured for specific quantity and packaging size. Rather than add laundry detergent or some other household staple to the grocery list, simply push the Tide Dash button and after a 30 minute grace period, Amazon will process the order. Viola, no need to go to computer and Amazon reduces the risk that the consumer spend will go via another channel. The buttons were available with over 100+ brands and designed to be attached to a dishwasher, fridge, etc. wherever the consumer was likely to be when they noticed they were running low.
In response to concerns over hacker’s ability to manipulate the initial version of the buttons, along with providing developers greater flexibility, Amazon has release the IoT button. The IoT button can be configured to perform any action that the developer wants in response to the button click. Unlike the Dash buttons which can be configured by consumers, the IoT button must be programmed using Node.js, Python or Java. That being said, the functions available are much beyond simply ordering a product.
In this release, the button is good for approximately 1,000 clicks and cannot be recharged and does not have a replaceable battery. Additionally the button must be configured with an AWS certificate and private key.
Amazon provides a few examples of how the button might be used such as turning lights on, unlocking a car, etc. The use case that Amazon lists that resonates with me is calling a cab. I happen to have a 95 year old father. I could see creating a button to allow him to order a cab or request a workmen.
Read more about the button here Amazon IoT description and see how it integrates into AWS. Let me know scenarios where you could see the button being used.