Can Amazon’s new Dash really connect IoT dots?

Amazon debuted its Dash buttons last year, letting you re-order a specific item when you’re running low with the touch of a button, and today it has expanded the capabilities for Internet of Things (IoT) developers with the new AWS IoT button.

The button works on the Amazon Web Services framework and allows developers to change an entire IoT system with one press. Developers (or anyone with basic experience on AWS) will be able to implement the Dash button to do all sorts of things.

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“The button can be used as a remote control for Netflix, a switch for your Philips Hue light bulb, a check-in/check-out device for Airbnb guests, or a way to order your favorite pizza for delivery,” said Amazon in the announcement.

It appears to be mostly for hackers and tinkerers that want to explore the capabilities of the Dash button, though we wouldn’t rule out companies like Philips or Nest adding official support for smart home devices.

We’ve already seen Netflix launch its own step-by-step guide for “The Switch”, a button that turns on Netflix and changes the settings on a bunch of other smart home devices, like dimming Hue lights, ordering food, and turning smartphones on ‘do not disturb’ mode.

Dash doesn’t just do detergent

For anyone interested, the AWS IoT button costs just under $20, but stock sold out in under 24 hours. Amazon has not said when it will be back in stock.

Amazon’s original Dash was an impulse purchase-enabling tool like no other. After a year on the market, and coming in dozens of popular brands that will let you scratch your itch for detergent or toilet paper, it’s interesting to have a button that doesn’t make us lie the only thing w’re eager to do is buy something.

But keep in mind that while these devices may start proliferating, the device maker’s main goal must be considered, too. “The real ideal would be a button we can register with an app and have it trigger any action on the internet,” wrote Paul Miller on The Verge. “It would be the perfect way to make IFTTT physical. And it would likely do nothing for Amazon’s bottom line.”

The success of the Amazon Echo and Alexa, the device’s voice assistant, has been sensational for Amazon’s push into the smart home market. The launch of the AWS IoT button looks like another stab at the market, alongside a way for developers to get used to the AWS interface.

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