Sekerci: Amazon Dash is an important smart tech innovation


Burak Sekerci, Columnist

This Tuesday I bought one of the latest Internet-of-Things gadgets, the Amazon Dash. It is a brutally simple object; just a button sold for $4.99. Yet it’s much more than that.

Amazon Dash is a new product offered by Amazon that allows you to order products in a much easier way. With the push of a button, the device orders paper towels, Tide Pods and more without the hassle of having to find the product on Amazon. The Amazon Dash is one of the first implementations of Internet of Things to kitchen and home appliances. However, it is different from the other “smart home things” that are out there, like the Nest Thermostat, Philips Hue and many other smart home products. In fact, it might be one of the best ideas that any company has implemented toward a smarter home.

The biggest advantage of Amazon Dash is its easy setup. You just buy the button, stick it on your fridge, dishwasher, kitchen counter or washing machine, and you can order products with one click. It basically transforms a “not-smart” appliance into a “smart” one. Looking at other smart home products, the comparison is huge. You need to buy dozens of smart lightbulbs to control your lights. You need to bring in a technician to install a smart lock to unlock your house from your phone. You need to cover rooms with sensors to get lights to turn on without the flip of a switch. Amazon Dash allows consumers to avoid all of these headaches.

Granted, Amazon Dash doesn’t do as much as other smart home products when implemented. But it can make our lives easier: the reason why we install smart home systems into our houses in the first place.

Our society dislikes new technologies that are hassles to set up. While it might be cool to be able to turn your lights on and off with your phone, you probably won’t go for that if it means having to buy a dozen new lamps, spend hundreds of dollars and work to connect them to your home.

According to research group Argus Insights, the connected home demand has slowed down over the past year. It dropped 15 percent between May 2014 and May 2015. As the “wow” factor of connected home products passes away, people start to feel that the return does not match the investment of time and energy required for implementation.

For these products to be successful, tech giants must find better ways to implement their technologies. Whether contracting with home builders to implement their products while houses are being built or finding ways to decrease the work that ordinary citizens need to do to make their homes smarter, companies need to find new ways to attract the customer demand that they have been losing for the past year or so.

I believe that Amazon Dash will be more impactful than other smart home appliances because it is the first one that is easily connectable with homes. Other companies should take a step back and start thinking like Amazon about their products. Amazon Dash might not be perfect, but it’s the smartest smart product yet.

Burak Sekerci is a McCormick junior. He can be reached at [email protected].

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The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of all staff members of The Daily Northwestern.