Pressing Buttons

The Amazon Dash, a consumer goods ordering service, was introduced on March 31, 2015. It is a small electronic device designed to make ordering products easier and faster. Each device contains an embedded button and is emblazoned with the name of an often ordered product. Users can configure each button to order a specific product and quantity, via the user’s account, and mount the buttons, using adhesive tape or a plastic clip, to locations where they use the products. Pressing the button will send a Wi-Fi signal to automatically order new stock of whatever product the button is configured to order.

Like many people, I thought it was a joke when I first heard of the Amazon Dash button. Doesn’t this device overcomplicate an otherwise easy process of creating a simple shopping list? Perhaps someone is trying to put Post-It Notes out of business. Whatever the case, the invention of this device brings about some appropriate and amusing uses of the technology.

The first thing I thought about when I heard about the Amazon Dash button was how someone could forget to pick up some things like toilet paper or laundry detergent. Either a person has a very busy life or is struggling with memory issues. So, a great use for the device would be to remind a cannabis user to order more weed before running out. Or maybe someone would forget whether they pressed the button or not.

Running a nuclear power plant? The last thing you want to run out of is fuel for the reactor. Imagine the millions of disappointed customers trying to run their air conditioners on the hottest day of the year, and having no power to cool themselves off. Actually, it might be even better to program the button to contact the radioactive materials disposal service the get rid of the expired plutonium as soon as possible.

dash_dash Finally, in the surrealistic style of the multiple mirror effect, who needs an Amazon Dash button to order an Amazon Dash button? All of us! Just press that button and get another button. Or maybe you could order a cancel button to make things more interesting. Who ordered the truckload of Amazon Dash buttons that were suddenly delivered to my house. Not me!

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Chris Bird is a designer for print and web specializing in the development of marketing materials for a varied spectrum of clients. He currently resides in Santa Rosa, California. His music website is at and his painting and fine arts website is located at