IoT- Internet of Things · Hardware

Amazon Dash: stupid branding gimmick or breakthrough hit for the Internet of Things?

Rachel Zheng Business Development Manager at Honyee Media

April 20th, 2015

Amazon introduced Dash recently - which allows you to make a list of the items you need by either scanning a bar code or verbally telling the device. The video is here https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=53&v=aFYs9zqYpdM.
It seems pretty genius to me and right in line with feedback amazon hears - to hard to put in my grocery list" or "when I'm out and about I forget what I need."  Then they also revealed plans for buttons on wi-fi devices e.g. a tide button on washing machines.  Others think it's just a gimmick (especially with the little kid voice in the video) and that it will never feed the need to price shop. Curious to hear what other entrepreneurs/IoT mavens think? If anyone can pull it off, it would be them.
Note: please don't comment if you haven't at least watch the video.

Johnson Ma Business Development & Strategy

April 20th, 2015

I heard about this a few weeks ago and I thought it was a bit of a dumb idea.  Then I saw the video they had produced and it changed my mind a bit.  Pretty slick video.  Then I saw their API and I thought, oh, that's actually pretty neat.

However, I do think they've got quite a few challenges ahead of them -- 1) flexibility/customization: I may not want their brand name items they have Dashes for, 2) price is pretty important for a lot of people, not just convenience, and 3) I'm not sure people ultimately need/want a "buy" button....maybe it'd be a hit if it just added the item to a shopping list!  But of course, it'd be harder to have brands sponsor that kind of action.  :)

Johnson Ma Business Development & Strategy

April 20th, 2015

Unfortunately for me, hiku, although more elegant than a lot of solutions that've been around, is emblematic of the difficulty in adoption that these items face.  It's not ubiquitous enough  -- my toothpaste is not in my kitchen, laundry detergent is not in the kitchen, etc.  Secondly, the cost...$79!  I don't know of many people who would be willing to shell out $79 for a shopping list reminder device. 

Tom Maiaroto Full Stack Consultant

April 20th, 2015

Way way way wayyyyyy old idea. Like 15+ years old. Remember Radio Shack? They had a scanner (was a cat or a mouse shaped device, I can't remember now) that hooked up to your computer. They gave it away free. I had dreams about this (and having scanners in a fridge, egg trays with sensors, etc.) years and years ago before the technology was so cheap and well connected to the internet. It will never be the device or scanner or voice control that is the reason for success.

The difference here is execution and value to the user. Not many people are actually in such a position. Amazon is. Amazon actually has something to deliver and they are now pushing on their local services which will make it difficult for companies like FavorDelivery and Postmates and then all the meal delivery services.

I agree, $79 is steep but they are able to test it out. I'm surprised they aren't giving away the devices. They are stupid cheap to manufacture. It's probably just a big experiment just like the Echo from Amazon. Speaking of, why can't you use voice with that to order?

So I don't think it's a gimmick. I just think it's Amazon trying to figure out what people want and what they are willing to pay for it. I do suspect Amazon will emerge with a very nice local service at the end of all these experiments.

Heidi Hutchison Managing Director, Tau Consulting Group ❖ Outsourced Marketing Expertise ⇨ Driving Business Growth

April 23rd, 2015

I will be attending a conference in Atlanta from Wednesday, April 22 to Saturday, April 23. I will have limited access to emails. If this is urgent, please call me on my mobile or text me at (858) 245-7003. I will be back in the office on Monday, April 27. Cheers, Heidi

Anonymous

April 20th, 2015

Interesting topic. I can see myself using this quite regularly - which is perhaps sad reflection on my laziness and that I will not shop around when it's outweighed by convenience, at least when it's a brand that i know is probably comparable on price anyway. I would like some sort of secondary device in the kitchen where I can review the shopping list for the house and approve it, based on button presses, handy when there are kids there too. This could of course be my phone or iPad, but I would probably put a dedicated device somewhere so all the adults can look first.

IoT has the potential to remove certain annoyances, and this seems a smart start. Perhaps decorative buttons will become a category on Etsy soon :)

Alan Peters VP Product and Technology at BusinessBlocks

April 20th, 2015

Well, Rob Katcher - fellow FD member - was first to market here with this: http://hiku.us 

I've used hiku myself - it's a nice product and I think there's definitely a market here.  I'm sure Rob could say more.  

removed Remover Freelance Software Product Developer at Greenfield Innovation

April 20th, 2015

Rachel, I'm glad to hear they added it. I like the same feature set of eBay's Red Laser, but I am more comfortable with Amazon fulfillment. The real killer, IMHO, will be when one of the platforms is heavily tied in with local inventory. Whoever combines maps, shopping lists, and proximity zones with pricing alerts will win big. 

Alan Peters VP Product and Technology at BusinessBlocks

April 20th, 2015

Let s/he who has designed, raised, manufactured, and shipped cast the first stone ;-)

Louis Alley Senior Software Engineer at Grokker, Inc.

April 21st, 2015

http://hiku.us/#neverforget