Running out of household supplies suddenly or having to tank up the car on short notice are everyday problems. There are solutions at hand, though. Expanding the market for consumer goods, Amazon introduced the ‘Dash’ button in the US — a 2-inch wi-fi connected device which refills and restocks everyday household essentials such as laundry detergent, cereal packs, baby wipes and even certain medicines.
Each button sports a particular brand, such as Tide or Gatorade, and can be bought for $5 and once connected, a single press automatically places your order. Amazon sends an order confirmation to your phone, so it’s easy to cancel if you change your mind. Taking the idea forward, the e-commerce giant has announced a number of partners, water filtration system Brita, appliance and office equipment makers like GE and Brother. In February, it also tied up with Samsung.
A wi-fi-enabled Brita “smart pitcher” keeps track of how much water has traversed the filter and automatically orders a replacement when needed while the tie-up with GE and Brother allows for things like washers to automatically re-order detergent and printers re-order ink. Samsung is now creating printers that come integrated with Dash.
Meanwhile, Visa and Honda, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, announced a partnership under which cars can be used for digital payment solutions. It demonstrated an ecosystem where drivers can pay for gas with a single click without leaving the car. An app detects when the car is low on fuel and navigates the driver to nearby gas stations. Once parked next to the pump, the app knows the exact amount of gas needed to fill the tank and can calculate the cost to fill up. The driver can also purchase convenience store items with full integration of discount and loyalty/rewards programmes.