Amazon is looking to expand its lineup of Dash Buttons – which let you order household items with the click of a button – to include IoT capabilities.
Originally launched in 2015, the buttons are an easy way to get hold of everyday products. The idea is simple: you click a button on a particular item, and Amazon sends it out to you.
Now, though, it wants to hone on the original concept with the AWS IoT button. Instead of just ordering products like drink or food, the IoT version is capable of doing things like ordering a taxi or scheduling a tweet.
The main attraction here is that developers are able to programme the buttons to do things, making their uses flexible. For example, manufacturers could use them to control smart devices.
They can be programmed to respond to a variety of different inputs, such as double clicking or pressing for a few seconds. Different actions would allow the buttons to perform a plethora of functions.
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Any drawbacks? Well, they’re being targeted at developers who want to experiment with Amazon Web Services (AWS), meaning setting them up could be rather complicated for the normal consumer.
Also, if a user wants to connect the button to a third party device, they need knowledge of computer languages such as Node.js, python and Java – which will no doubt alienate people without programming know-how.
The buttons aren’t reusable, either. They offer around 1,000 presses, but when the battery runs out, you don’t have the option to change them. That said, they only cost $19.95 each, although Amazon says stock has already sold out.
IoT offers many benefits to consumers
Jess Thompson-Hughes, VP PayGo & partner solutions at Eseye, believes that the main responsibility of IoT is to provide consumers and businesses with new services and opportunities.
He said: “The concept of IoT is simple. Multiple machines, devices and appliances connect to each other through multiple networks, including the internet, to provide consumers and businesses with new services and opportunities.
“For example, smart energy meters can eliminate the need for estimated bills, or vending machines which provide 24/7 services from a seemingly endless supply chain. As well as this, big corporations and industries can utilise IoT such as healthcare systems, which will allow patients to be monitored in real time from home and smart cities which tell drivers where available parking might be found.”
Consumers should understand IoT
While IoT continues to grow at a rapid rate and offer new benefits, Jess says consumers should begin to show more interest in how the technology works. Currently, he explains, they just expect the technology to work on its own.
He said: “Specialists in the field are interested in the detail and science behind IoT. However, most consumers will just expect the technology to work and for it to be as unobtrusive and invisible as possible.
“So where IoT enables devices to communicate and prevent unexpected downtime of the things consumers depend upon everyday, such as energy, transportation and healthcare, consumers should care and also understand how it all works.”
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