Amazon Introducing The Dash Button, A Branded Gadget That Reorders Household Products With A Push

Reaching for another roll of paper towels in the pantry only to find you’ve run out just when little Timmy has flung yet another bowl of pureed peas against the wall is annoying, as is realizing your roommate hasn’t bought toilet paper during your moment of need. In an attempt to solve that problem, Amazon announced a new line of branded buttons that reorder certain common household products with one push, using your home’s WiFi connection and a connected Prime account.

We first heard rumblings of Amazon testing out a one-button system for ordering things last fall, at which point it was still uncertain whether such a thing would make it market or not.

It seems that’s going to be a reality, as Amazon unveiled a line of free Dash buttons that can be stuck to say, the washing machine or the bathroom mirror, allowing Prime customers to simply push them when they need more Tide or Olay moisturizer.

From Amazon:

Dash Button comes with a reusable adhesive and a hook so you can hang, stick, or place it right where you need it. Keep Dash Button handy in the kitchen, bath, laundry, or anywhere you store your favorite products. When you’re running low, simply press Dash Button, and Amazon quickly delivers household favorites so you can skip the last-minute trip to the store.

Each brand included in the lineup — along with Tide and Olay there’s Clorox, Huggies, Bounty and more — has its own button. Once you’ve pushed it (or little Timmy has because you positioned it within his reach, sigh), an alert pops up on your smartphone so you can cancel the order if you need to.

Right now it’s only available by invitation for Prime customers, with Amazon’s site saying the Dash buttons will be available in a few weeks.

If you’re suspicious that this announcement is popping up pretty darn close to April Fool’s Day (the Consumerist team was), it does seem that the Dash button is for real. The Washington Post staffer who wrote about the product on the companys The Switch blog, Sarah Halzack, Tweeted that the button isn’t a joke — and she would very possibly know that, as Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post as well as Amazon:

Timing the release of such a product this close to April Fool’s Day is actually kind of a genius move, as it gets people to talk about whether it’s real or not, thus creating free publicity for Amazon and all the brands involved.