Amazon's Dash Button
Amazon's timing couldn't have been worse: the company launched its Dash Buttons - which let you press a Wi-Fi connected button in your home to automatically order a frequently used item - as April Fool's Day got underway. And everyone believed it was a joke.
That reputation lingers today, even after the company assured doubters of the concept's legitimacy. The buttons were available in a limited trial for a few months, but now anyone with a Prime membership can place an order to get a button for their home.
Somewhat surprisingly, you'll have to pay for each button - at a cost of US$4.99 (just over £3) apiece. We figured Amazon would offer them free to frequent shoppers of certain items, or perhaps to members of its subscribe and save plans, but no such luck. Each button will set you back a few bucks for the potential of added convenience.
As of this writing, they're available in the States, but apparently not yet in the UK. Eighteen different buttons are available right now, ranging from laundry detergent and baby wipes to coffee and makeup. There's even one for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese for the power eaters out there.
Simply connect the button to your Wi-Fi network via the Amazon smartphone app and a simple press will place an order for you. Multiple presses won't yield additional orders until the first one ships - unless you allow multiple orders. (Don't do that if you have kids. Or pets. Or if you sleepwalk. Or if you crave Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.)
It's an interesting concept, albeit one that seems wildly unnecessary for humans savvy enough to bulk-order energy bars online. Still, we can't wait to hear how well it catches on.