Amazon is the latest to embrace Internet of Things with the launch of its ‘Amazon Web Services Internet of Things’ or the AWS IoT product – AWS IoT Dash button.
Even though, the Dash button was launched last year with a simple idea – a single push of this button could allow the Amazon customers to order and replenish products from over 100 brands. However, each brand was associated with a different dash button and the specific product and quantity to be ordered had to be set up using the smartphone app.
The latest buzz for this news, however is, for the developer community as the e-commerce giant has decided to expand on the technology, but is targeting developers to program their functions, beyond just ordering more of something.
Amazon wants developers to be able to create applications that can operate any device without device-specific code. Thus, they can code the button’s logic to customize and find new use cases to it. Further, it can even be programmed to respond to inputs other than push, such as a double click or a long press.
Thus, this button could be used for varying purposes, from something as simple as unlocking a car or calling a cab to keeping track of your household chores, counting and tracking items, calling someone, ordering services such as pizza or even providing feedback.
The only downside that we can pinpoint at the moment is the user-friendliness. Since the target audience is developers, the average customers might not be able to get through the setup as coding ability for either Node.js, Python or Java, etc. is required to connect the button with third party devices. Now, even though the dash button can be connected to WiFi and is configurable on smartphones or tablets; developers have to configure their WiFi network, following which they can allocate tasks after finishing the consecutive steps. Moreover, we are hopeful that the future versions will be more user friendly.
Another drawback could be the battery of the button. According to Amazon, 1,000 presses of the button is the limit and the battery is not rechargeable or replaceable. So, users have to buy another button (maybe they could launch another dash button for it!) after their last push.
While the original Dash Button is priced at $5, the AWS IoT is available at a significantly higher price. Moreover, this could also prove to be revolutionary as it widens the horizons of the companies that are considering building their own applications. Moreover, it could move beyond household and play an important role in the industrial scenario. For example, inventories could be updated on time in factories without delays.
We would like to hear suggestions on what you think can be done with this device. Leave your comments below!
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As the Content Strategist for Analytics India magazine, Apoorva takes care of editing & writing articles, covering analytics news, taking interviews and managing the social media marketing.