Amazon this morning announced that its unusual Dash Buttons are now available to buy in the UK, but what are they, what can you use them for and how do they work?
Here's our guide to Amazon Dash Buttons in the UK.
What Are Amazon Dash Buttons?
Not to be confused with Amazon Dash, the Amazon Dash Button is like a joke that’s gone too far. First announced just ahead of April Fools Day 2015, it was only until people actually started buying it that most of the world realised it was a genuine product.
Simply put, it’s a piece of Wi-Fi-connected hardware that you can use to order a bunch of products from a specific brand. All through Amazon, naturally.
The Button Itself
Yep, the Amazon Dash Button is an actual button. That you can press and everything. Exciting, isn’t it? Similar in size to a packet of Tic-Tacs, but with arguably more sex appeal thanks to those curved corners, it’s essentially a block of plastic with a large round button and an LED light on top.
You can hang it up wherever you want using a removable hook, or stick it to a clean, dry and flat surface with the adhesive stuff around the back. Amazon says it’ll last at least five years before running out of battery.
The first thing you need to know is that it only works with Prime. No Prime, no party. That’s £79 per year please.
Still with us? Okay, some of you. Let’s proceed. To get started with the Amazon Dash Button, connect your phone -- which needs to run iOS 8.3 or higher, or Android 4.1 or higher -- to your home network, enable Bluetooth ( that's how the Dash Button will connect to your phone) and download the Amazon Shopping app, which is available on iOS here and Android here.
In the ‘Your Account’ section of the menu, find Dash Devices and tap ‘Set up a new device’. Once you’ve confirmed your Amazon account details, press and hold the Amazon Dash button until the LED blinks blue and hook it up to your Wi-Fi network by entering the password on your phone.
The next stage is picking the product you want to associate with the button. You’ll have a relevant list to choose from -- you won’t be able to buy detergent through the Huggies Dash Button, for instance -- and will be able to specify the size and scent (if appropriate) of the product you want. A 24-pack of nappies, for instance. You can always modify your choice through the app later on.
All you need to do then is set up or simply confirm your one-click billing and shipping info.
How to Place an Order
Congratulations, you’ve reached the spending money section. As you’d expect from any shopping product, it’s nice and easy to part ways with your hard-earned cash. All you need to do is press your Dash Button. Don’t press and hold -- that’ll take you back to the Wi-Fi setup stage -- just press.
The LED will blink white as Amazon processes your order, and glow green for five seconds if it’s successful. A red light, however, indicates a failed order. In either case, you’ll receive an Amazon Shopping app notification on your phone with further details.
You can find the full list of indicator light messages here.
Cancelling Rogue Orders
Those of you with kids or desperately immature mates will know that the Dash Button will also double up as the ultimate source of amusement. I mean, what could be funnier than pressing the Durex Dash Button 69 times in a row?
Fortunately, you can cancel orders through the app and by default Dash Buttons don’t allow new orders until your current order arrives. However, as you'd expect, you can always change this through the app.
Which Amazon Dash Buttons Are Available?
Here's a lovely long list for you to goggle at:
- Air Wick
- Fairy Non Bio
- Johnson’s Baby
- Nescafé Dolce Gusto
- Optimum Nutrition
- Philips Sonicare
- Right Guard
- The Breath Co.
Amazon Dash Replenishment is available too, with Grundig, Bosch, Whirlpool and Samsung’s printer business currently working on products that will play nice with with the automatic restocking service.
For example, expect a dishwasher capable of monitoring your tablet usage rate and automatically ordering a fresh pack -- which you’d have specified when you first set Replenishment up -- so you never run out. Or a printer with toner, a washing machine with detergent and a fridge with water filters.
Price and Availability
Amazon Dash Buttons are available in the UK right now, and they’re basically free. Though each one costs £4.99, you also get £4.99 taken off your first order. And if your first order happens to cost £3.99, Amazon tells us you’ll get that extra quid off your next one.