Don’t touch the button

The new Amazon Dash button was launched on the 31st March. To many it was an April’s fool joke. But no, it’s real. Buying your favourite brands at the press of a button. No hassle, no worries about getting a good deal. After all, it’s Amazon and it provides the best deals, right? We have to go back a long way to find the fascination of automated shopping that originated in the US. The original automated store created in 1937 was called Keedoozle (pictured below) and predated automated shopping by decades. The only problem with Keedoozle, and the reason it closed down, was that there just weren’t computers then and the process was an unwieldy mechanical automation. With today’s technology the problems faced by Clarence Saunders and Keedoozle surely would have been overcome and simpler solutions found. This brings us back to the Amazon Dash Button – a wonderful tool to take the hassle of shopping and remembering the items to shop off your mind. After all, for busy working families, its so easy to forget to replenish frequently bought items. But in all the careful planning of the Amazon Dash button, have they forgotten one important variable that is usually part of a busy young family?- KIDS. Is this excerpt (below) from ‘Penguins from Madagascar’ vaguely familiar?

Kids love to press buttons. They’re taught to press buttons from an early age, and they often like to press buttons more than once. Whether it’s just for play or in anger, buttons will be pressed. Amazon probably has taken precautions to avoid multiple orders and truckload of detergent turning up on the doorstep, but the family member that does the shopping may have the time-consuming chore of deleting all the orders initiated by their children. So convenience actually becomes inconvenience. I may be wrong and families may have really obedient children that don’t touch things when they are told not to, but given the target market for the product, someone at Amazon should have thought this one through rather than running headlong into the technology.

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