back to article Got to dash out for some rubber johnnies? Amazon has a button for that

Running out of bog rolls or prophylactics and can’t be bothered to hot foot it to the local shops? Fear not lazy 21st century human, for Amazon has found a solution to a problem that - for most of us - doesn’t exist. The almighty US retailer has imported the Dash button to the UK, Germany and Austria: a Wi-Fi connected plastic …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You mean to say your pack of extra large won't be delivered by drone in less than an hour?!!


    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: What?!!

      Imagine dutifully holding onto the boner and keeping foreplay going until delivery the next day… yeah, right. More like bukake or bust!

      I do seem to remember reading something about a condom taxi here in Jormany that promises delivery within the hour.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: What?!!

        When Gordon Brown increased payments to single mothers, there was sudden increase in the birth rate. Demographers refer to it as the 'Brown Bump'.

        How long until there's a problem with these buttons as we see an 'Amazon Bump'?

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: What?!!

        "I do seem to remember reading something about a condom taxi here in Jormany that promises delivery within the hour."

        So you want the taxi to come before you do?

      3. Ru'

        Re: What?!!

        "I do seem to remember reading something about a condom taxi here in Jormany that promises delivery within the hour."

        Johnny Cab?


      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What?!!

        Durex "SOS" ad on this theme - if only it were true...

    2. Steve Evans

      Re: What?!!

      It might be a huge package, but it's the size of the product inside that counts, and we all know what Amazon can be like with their choice of boxes!

  2. Martin 47

    How many of us, when visiting someone whose place has some of these buttons, could resist pressing one, or more, of them a few times?

    I would like to think I could but unfortunately suspect the truth may be different.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      With you on that. But with a little tweak: embedded NFC tags could allow you to walk round and compile a shopping list. I often write them down only to forget them when I go to the shops…

      I pity the poor, fat buggers who try and get everything delivered by Amazon.

    2. Novex

      The BBC article on this mentions that some kind of 24 hour restriction could be put in place to stop repeat orders if the button is pressed additionally within the 24 hours.

      I think this is neat in one way, but entirely wrong in execution. The idea of the button, fine, but it should send a note to a shopping list that you can check at the end of the day or week for things you need to buy, which can then be ordered online or sent to your mobile (or printed even) for when you go to the shops next. Ideally the item 'request' wouldn't be sent to a shared server shopping list but to a local one, but of course knowing all these cloudy companies that wouldn't happen.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Yes, once ordered, you can't place another order until the first one has arrived.

        Not sure how that works if you want to buy more than one of something though.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          When you press the button you are alerted on the Amazon app on your phone whey you have the option to cancel the order. I would have thought you could also change the quantity here too.

        2. Martin Summers

          "Not sure how that works if you want to buy more than one of something though."

          Alas, when it comes to one of the items you can purchase via the dash button, not all of us are that lucky.

    3. ciderbuddy

      If I found 2 I would use them as track and field controllers - next day a lorry of Durex and Playdo would arrive :P

  3. Locky

    About time

    If I had a pound for every time I was in urgent need of a new pack of Playdoh...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: About time

      ...I'd stock up on Nerf gun ammo.

    2. Chris King

      Re: About time

      El Reg are no doubt pestering Amazon for a Playmobil button.

  4. Michael M

    If Amazon arrive in under 5 minutes you get an embarrassed apology.

    1. Chloe Cresswell

      No issue there, I bet it'll be amazon logistics, so turning up at all would be a bonus.

  5. oiseau Silver badge

    Don't now better


    Couldn't help themselves ...

    Not having any, they left out the button for getting some basic common sense.

    Just don't know what it is.

  6. ma1010

    Yet another IOT "solution"...

    ...looking for a problem.

    And I'm with Martin 47; visiting someone foolish enough to have these buttons scattered around? Oh, what does this little button do? <push> "Noooo!"

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Yet another IOT "solution"...

      We need an 1000 Upvote button....

    2. Alan Edwards

      Re: Yet another IOT "solution"...

      "Oh, what does this little button do?"

      In Douglas Adams' house it would turn a light on that says 'Do not press that button again'

  7. Graham Lee

    "That is until the bleeding WiFi goes down and pathetic humans are forced to brave the sunlight and risk coming into contact with others." who's pressing the Durex button and _hasn't_ come into contact with others?

    I'll press the button that delivers my coat within an hour.

  8. aidanstevens

    If this is the culmination of the knowledge of the human race

    ...then I want out!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If this is the culmination of the knowledge of the human race

      This is usually where a portion of the human race ascend to a higher plane of existence, leaving the Amazon button-pushers to fend for themselves.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If this is the culmination of the knowledge of the human race

        I'd be OK with this as long as every button also triggered a request to the Soylent Green Feedstuff Collection Service. Or possibly just self-detonated.

  9. Geoff May (no relation)

    Old and infirm

    I can think of 2 groups that would find these things very useful:

    1 - The elderly who are finding it more difficult to get about - and this will mean they can stay slightly independent for a longer. And, they may still want to use rubbers ...

    2 - The other group would be those with physical disabilities. Sometimes trying to order things online can be painful long-winded whereas simply hitting a button strategically located will make things easier.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: Old and infirm

      Sounds like 2 groups of people who are most likely to struggle setting them up.

      A well written UI of their most common purchases would be much more useful.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get out of my country corps

    The environmental disaster of delivering small worthless products separately or in small batches.

    These are all generic products. Washing power is undifferentiated, barely fragrant, white soap shit. You'd be an idiot not to pick the bulk supermarket version, otherwise you're literally paying for a TV ad campaign to make other fucking idiots buy the same brand.

    The way this is going, where future internet-of-SHIT washing machines have a menu giving you get a fake choice between multiple Proctor and Gamble sub-brands.

    Dystopia mode: The washing machine won't work until it's associated with an Amazon account.

    Hard dystopia mode: The washing machine doesn't have any buttons, and you have to control it using the Amazon app.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Get out of my country corps

      You forgot the Apple mode: the washing machine looks fantastic but destroys your clothes and orders more fashionable replacements!

      1. Anonymous Coward

        My Apple life

        Wake up to U2 - Songs of Innocence, playing on my iClock.

        Dress in black polo neck. I don't have any other clothes since my Apple washing machine destroyed them all for me.

        "Siri post a review of the new iphone. 5 stars!"

        Amazon drone opens my internet-of-doors, and dumps my new iphone in the hall, which my old iphone helpfully ordered last night.

        "Siri show me a point-of-view video of queuing for the new iphone."

        Put on my chucks, glasses with no lens, and comb my ironic moustache.

        Get in my iCar. "Drive me to work". It drives me to Starbucks instead.

        Not a problem because labour laws are progressive, and it's illegal to fire a millennial just for never turning up.

        Coffee cup reminds me its very important to vote in the upcoming general election. Thanks Starbucks, otherwise I'd not have bothered.

        I open the government e-voting app, and tap 3Jobs. Every democratic country has a clone of Steve Jobs running for the Apple party. I think 3Jobs is even more benevolent than 2Jobs.

        1. Scott 53

          Re: My Apple life

          Wake up to U2? Make sure you turn the treble down as it takes The Edge off a bit.

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Get out of my country corps

        apple mode?

        Isn't that the microsoft mode where it BSOD's right at the critical point and then sits there for the next 15 hours patching itself with the door to the machine locked...

        And then repeats the whole thing forever.

        1. Chris G

          Re: Get out of my country corps

          Wash for Windows would be; Halfway through the wash the screen pops up 'Important Updates Available For Your Wash Programs' 'Installing Now'.......'18secs left'....34mins.......12secs.....4h27mins.......2secs....BSOD!

    2. The Vociferous Time Waster

      Re: Get out of my country corps

      People get mobile phones that are subsidised but tied to a particular network so why wouldn't they get a washing machine that is subsidised so long as you use a certain brand of detergent from a certain supplier. The proles tend to be strapped for cash on large purchases but willing to sign up to pay slightly over the odds on the weekly costs a bit like buying stuff on the never never.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Get out of my country corps

        "The proles tend to be strapped for cash on large purchases but willing to sign up to pay slightly over the odds on the weekly costs a bit like buying stuff on the never never."

        A local store only sells you household appliances on lease-buy. They have an example price poster in the window, presumably required by law, that shows the punter pays about double the RRP.

  11. Paul Woodhouse

    hmm, whats the bets that after you've associated it with your amazon account, it then sends your loginname and password in clear-text every time you hit the button...

    and of course yeah, no sodding use in a house with kids, my little un's 2nd most favourite thing in the world just at the moment is pressing any button he comes into contact with repeatedly.

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      I second that motion...

      (on a side note, it'd be interesting to see how many rubbers get ordered by accident if the buttons attached to the bedpost..say if the owners of said bedpost get really frisky.....also that reminds me, must by a latch for the bedroom door, wonder if it's too late to get amazon to deliver today?)

    2. The Vociferous Time Waster


      It doesn't

  12. wolfetone Silver badge

    I remember when the girlfriend and I first got down to the rumpy pumpy stage of our relationship. We were on a night out for her birthday, we got back to her student digs and we went through the motions and realised that we had none of Durex's finest. So I told her to hang on, and I ran down the road to the local petrol station/Tesco. Searched high and low for the goods, only to notice they were behind the counter. Slightly out of breath, I asked the woman behind the counter for a pack of condoms.

    She then asks me which ones. I don't know about you, but when you're on a promise, you've ran/sprinted half a mile to get to a shop only to spend a further 10 minutes looking in the shop for them, you're really past caring what you get. I just said originals, she scans them, I hand over my bank card when she tells me the machine is broken. So I dash out of the shop to the ATM, it's out of order. I then run 200/300 yards to the nearest bank, get £20 out because they had ran out of £10's, run back to Tesco - out of breath - hand over my £20, she tells me "You'll be no good to her if you're this out of breath!". A brave statement I thought, as she took her time counting the change, as I could've very easily been gay.

    Anyway, off I run back to her digs, which just so happens to be uphill. I had wondered why the run to the Tesco was so easy, now I knew why. Get to her front door, I try to open the door with the keys she gave me. No good, her flatmate had come home and locked the door. So I'm knocking on the door, loudly enough for them to hear me but not too loud as to make it sound like I'm trying to break in. I say through the door "Can you let me in? It's **INSERT MY NAME HERE**". Her flat mate opens it, apologies, I say it's fine and I dart off upstairs.

    Where the girlfriend is now fast asleep.

    And the above story is all true, and I would so love to recall it when we get married next year, but neither of our parents or family would appreciate it. But imagine if you're in a position where your family would howl with laughter at the above story, and you used an Amazon Dash button to get your party balloons? You're just making your dull life that little bit more duller.


    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Where the girlfriend is now fast asleep.

      I think anyone could have guessed this. Still very noble of you instead of just "lagering up" and letting nature take its course. Maybe why you're still together!

      You must also have cut a fine figure limping around at such high speed.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      " I would so love to recall it when we get married next year, but neither of our parents or family would appreciate it."

      If your Best Man knows - it's just right for his speech.

      Reminds me of going to the wedding of a rather prim and proper cousin. She was marrying a newly ordained CofE vicar. In the guests were a prudence of his fellow seminarians and an elderly vicar.** While waiting for the wedding feast the elderly vicar proceeded to tell, in a loud voice, some very blue jokes to those young clerics. My mother and aunt were very put out - particularly "pas devant les enfants".

      ** I always remembered it as being a bishop - so it was disappointing to be corrected in a chance conversation with the cousin nearly 60 years later. I did not remind her about the blue jokes.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        "If your Best Man knows - it's just right for his speech."

        I don't think he does, but if he did he wouldn't use it either as we have to invite the priest to the party after the wedding, and there'd be a lot of old Irish women either drowning us in holy water or assaulting us with their hand bags.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          When in need of the little old rubber devices, then pub toilet vending machines are your saviour.

          I've done the same dash errand many years ago. Fortunately I had a car outside and wasn't drinking.

          The story reminds me of Eddie Cochran Twenty Flight Rock.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I'm a bit confused. Your comment about being "easily gay". Are you sure you should be getting married in that case?

            1. wolfetone Silver badge

              "I'm a bit confused. Your comment about being "easily gay". Are you sure you should be getting married in that case?"

              Well I was pointing out that she judged on my looks alone that I must be having sex with a girl and not a guy. Why couldn't I be straight looking and gay? Or I could've been very camp looking but straight? You know, like Matthew Kelly?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A similar tale was told to me by my friends now wife as potential material for the Best Man's Speech.

      Having discover the cupboard was bare the only option at whatever time of night was the petrol station 200 yards down the road (yes, that close!)

      Too embarrassed to just go to the petrol station for condoms he drove his girlfriend to the petrol station and put £5 of petrol in the car. He then sent her in to pay.

      1. James Hughes 1

        There's is nothing in that anecdote that prohibits it from being used during wedding speeches.


        Just do it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Well I was pointing out that she judged on my looks alone that I must be having sex with a girl and not a guy. Why couldn't I be straight looking and gay? Or I could've been very camp looking but straight? You know, like Matthew Kelly?"

          I imagine she was just playing the numbers. According to a BBC survey 98% of people are heterosexual so it was mos likely that you were, I'm sure she wouldn't have bee offended if you had had to correct her.

          Most people seem to assume that someone in their 40s has got children.... which isn't always the case. It's just the way the world works, you buy a set of wheels they'll assume you want four but if you own a Robin.....

  13. Fr. Ted Crilly Bronze badge


    'B'-ark product, for 'B'-ark people

  14. Dwarf

    Solution to a problem that doesn't exist

    So, its a button that you press to then wait 24 hours for something "urgent" to deliver. All the examples they gave imply something you need more of more urgently. I can drive to a local shop in 10 minutes and be home in less than 30 and I don't have to wait in the following day for it to arrive either, so its not an improvement.

    We all have our own solutions to this problem which does ALL the items in the shop. You just write on the notepad next to the fridge and the weekly trip to the shops / on-line delivery magically re-stocks it for you. Its hardly difficult to do. This is just yet another pointless IoT example.

    Did anyone else notice the brand lock for each button as well ?? I can only imagine that the next generation would be an array of each vendors buttons with the current price printed next to it.

    Pointless, just completely pointless.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Solution to a problem that doesn't exist

      The problem is people aren't going for brands. This is the solution, the button will of course only work for big brands, not Tesco Value.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Solution to a problem that doesn't exist

        "The problem is people aren't going for brands. This is the solution, the button will of course only work for big brands, not Tesco Value."

        Unless, of course, they were to get slightly mangled on their way through your firewall ..

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Solution to a problem that doesn't exist

          In practice the button will be pressed and the buyer will receive a "We tried to deliver card" and will have to wait 24 hours before driving several miles to a sorting office where there is no parking. Then will have to wait in a 20 minute queue only to be told that their ID is not sufficient.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Dwarf Re: Solution to a problem that doesn't exist

      The missus has an iPad that she uses to do the online shopping from.

      Easy enough to walk round the kitchen, checking what we're out of, how much space there is in the fridge/freezer. Except she uses me for that part.

      "Do we need beans?" Grunt, trudge, trudge, trudge, squeak. "No". Slam, trudge, trudge, trudge, slump.

      5 minutes later...

      "Do we need bread?" Grunt, trudge, trudge, trudge, squeak. "Yes". Slam, trudge, trudge, trudge, slump.

      Next day, far too much food arrives. Ready meals for 7 days, PLUS cold meats for light meals PLUS makings of real food.

      Seriously though, I suppose the App is organised like a supermarket rather than our storage. Good for supermarket sales, not so good for the consumer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Dwarf Solution to a problem that doesn't exist

        "Seriously though, I suppose the App is organised like a supermarket rather than our storage."

        Every year a friend goes for a holiday with a group of old friends. They take it in turns to prepare each meal. So they give my friend a list of ingredients they need. She then collates them into a document on her PC - together with essentials like drinks and toilet rolls..

        She then places two very large orders with an online supermarket for phased deliveries to a relatively remote country cottage. During ordering she has to make approximations of people's requirements like "small bunch" and "large peppers", She also has to make substitutions in quantities/sizes and brands depending on the supermarket's stock.

        Finally she gives me a printout of the original ordering list with various pencilled annotations - which runs to several double-sided pages. My job is to match the items - when she reads them off a printout of the supermarket's confirmation list. Both lists are collated - but against different criteria - requiring much searching and intelligent matching.

        One year she discovered that the confirmed order had not been delivered - as her credit card had been belatedly refused. Apparently £1k of groceries triggered the credit card company's transaction alarms. She had to climb the hill behind the cottage to get enough mobile signal to sort it out.

  15. Timo

    Can be hacked to do more useful things

    There are instructions out there on the internets on how to turn these into more useful gadgets than just ordering another roll of toilet paper (GIUF = Google is Ur Friend). Something like not registering them with Amazon, instead getting them to hit a server on your internal network.

    Are these just launching in the UK now? They've been available in the US for some time, maybe a year. I do not think they automatically order things, they push them into a queue of some sort on the site, and you have an opportunity to kill the order before it goes through.

    I do think the people that use these will be in for a general fleecing, as Amazon will start ratcheting up prices once it determines that you're a captured customer that doesn't shop around or price compare. Like boiling a frog.

    And Amazon surely is selling the button as advertising space - I bet each of the brands listed have paid a nice sum to get their logo placed on a button. So this is a nice scheme by Amazon to separate fools/tools from their money.

    1. jamesb2147

      Re: Can be hacked to do more useful things

      You're right on almost all points (you capture the ARP or wireless equivalent, not 'redirect to your server').

      However, I'd specifically like to mention and think you'll find interesting:

      According to the WSJ, Amazon is paid $15 for every Dash button sold, and 15% revenue commision... on top of the standard Amazon commission. No wonder the buttons are so cheap and the products so pricey!

      Anyway, if you want to see the sauce, Google Amazon to Add Dozens of Brands to Dash Buttons, but Do Shoppers Want Them?

  16. Wupspups


    For when you run out of Nerf darts and Playdoh.

  17. JimmyPage Silver badge

    This isn't for our generation

    it's for the next.

    And for all the scoffing here, people will probably be grateful for innovations like this in 10, 20 years time.

    It seems (some) tech firms have finally realised the truth about the army being perfectly equipped to fight the last war, and are looking to prepare themselves for the next one ....

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: This isn't for our generation

      If the next generation are happy buying expensive individual branded products without having any idea what they cost when they hit the button and are around all day to receive them (i.e. unemployed without disposable income) then there's a big problem.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This isn't for our generation

        When Facebook launched, older colleagues (some of who are now retired - or past retirement age) pointed out what a waste of time it was, and how it would never catch on.

        I said to *them*: "It's not aimed at you" - my exact words.

        This isn't to suggest that every waste of time or effort is going to make it big.

        But it does echo Chuck Berrys retort to people who complained they couldn't understand the words of rock'n'roll songs:

        "If you don't understand the words, you're not meant to understand the words".

        Totally get the point OP.

  18. ArchieTheAlbatross

    Solution in search of a problem

    More Internet-Of-Things-That-Can-Be-Hacked nonsense, I can imagine the Darwin Award nominations already!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I just drop a word in these here comments?

    Security? is it secure or is it another piss poor attempt?

    I'm sure we'll find out eventually...

    How often do these need charging? Are they always connected? It's a nifty idea to be sure but I'll stick with my post it in the kitchen that I happily add items to before I go shopping.

    1. The Vociferous Time Waster


      It's my understanding they have a AAA that lasts for ages because the wireless connection only comes on when your press the button.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: AAA

        Presumably they're not averse to ordering themselves some new batteries too ?

    2. JimmyPage Silver badge

      Pizeo ?

      The IoT light switches I have seen demoed by IBM were pizeo driven - no need for batteries.

      Now *that* is a stonkingly good use of IoT. Imagine being able to fit a light switch irrespective of where the wires run.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No, Never, No and Never

    Amazon will be rubbing their hands with Glee at theis.

    not only will you have to pay £5.99 to get that packet of three (unless you are a Prime (idiot) member) but all that lovely data you are giving them about you and your (cough, cough) habits be they good or bad.

    I am using cash more and more for groceries. all the harder to track you.

    Yes, I know it will be futile in the end but the harder these Marketing-AI systems have to work the better.

    IMHO, it is frankly stupid to give them this sort of info on a plate so to speak.

    1. Wensleydale Cheese

      I can see where this is leading

      "not only will you have to pay £5.99 to get that packet of three ... but all that lovely data you are giving them about you and your (cough, cough) habits be they good or bad."

      1. Fall out with partner

      2. Stop ordering your packs of three

      3. Get inundated with ads for dating agencies

      1. Chris G

        Re: I can see where this is leading

        Wondering what a weekly order for 2 dozen edible butterscotch flavour condoms and dog shampoo will get you as targetted advertising.

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: I can see where this is leading

          As a Prime idiot, and knowing a number of other prime idiots, I'd have to say we all love it. Loads of TV shows, and loads of free next day delivery. Saved a blinking fortune.

          And, I'm pretty sure, given what we all do for a living, we cannot be classed as idiots.

          1. handle

            "Saved a blinking fortune."

            Really? The next time, before you order something you didn't really need because it was available with Prime, you should look around to see how much it costs elsewhere. It might be a revelation.

  21. seanj

    Don't get the hate...

    Maybe I'm just not thinking this through though.

    I order my dog's food in a box of 48 from Amazon already - costs me about £12 every 6 weeks or so. I have arthritis in my knee (luckily my little dog doesn't need much walking!) so my regular shopping is also already delivered, but for this, Amazon are just a bit cheaper.

    I can go to Amazon's site and order it, or I can have the button near where I keep the dog food and when it gets to the last couple I can just push it... Is the latter genuinely being classed as lazier than the former?

    1. VinceH

      Re: Don't get the hate...

      Truly lazy would be to train the dog to press the button for you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't get the hate...

        "Truly lazy would be to train the dog to press the button for you."

        In the case of our dog a sack would arrive every day. He doesn't pay the bills.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    For those who think that they know better than Amazon about security (yet don't have the credentials to back it up) here is my understanding of the way it works from some in depth stuff on the US kit:

    Device holds no usernames or passwords, it has a unique device ID and secret - when the button is pressed the device connects to WIFI and sends the token and secret to a pre programmed URL using SSL. Device doesn't even arp unless the button is pressed so there are not many network attack vectors for the device itself over IP.

    The token and secret are then used to kick off the order process, the account holder is notified in the usual way. If an attacker got the token and secret and tried to replicate the button push it would be trivial to cancel the order and kill the device's authority to order.

    As for provisioning the phone app uses a temporary network during provisioning to read the device data and that network is torn down once it is provisioned so that vector ceases to exist.

    It's a pretty good implementation of a simple idea that is aimed squarely at the topup shopper and not the old farts who write lists and go on monthly big shops. More millennial man than supermarket mum.

  24. Grivas Bo Diddly Harm
    IT Angle

    Internet of ASBO Things

    Click the 'Jonny' button and it automatically informs the police you're thinking of having sex in 24 hours.

    Evenin' all!

  25. Darryl

    "Wonder what happens when a product's button's battery expires..."

    Obviously you push the "New button battery" button. However when that button's battery dies, you're hooped.

  26. Anonymous Coward


    Did I really read that right? Condoms and washing powder, OK I can kind of get it. But Play-Doh?

    1. Cynic_999

      Re: Play-Doh???

      The products on offer will depend on which companies have paid Amazon to make them a button. They do not depend on which products people are more likely to want on a button.


    2. Nifty Silver badge

      Re: Play-Doh???

      When product A didn't get delivered quickly enough you'll later be needing a lot of product B.

    3. Bob Rocket

      Re: Play-Doh???

      Play-Doh to keep the current sprogs busy whilst you are using the condoms to actively avoid any more of the little blighters.

      Sponsored buttons, you are credited with the button price on your first order.

      The dog food above is an ideal example of what they were thinking about to get people used to this sort of thing,

      Next up will be a multi button one for the kitchen where brands pay to get their products on the buttons, with LCD buttons Amazon could vary the offered products based on sponsorship deals.

      The ability to schedule the delivery date/time would allow you to create a shopping list so you only get one delivery per week etc.

      Smart fridge/cupboards could add suggestions to your lists ('you may like SLEEP CANS')

      I won't be using any of this stuff but I can see big bucks for anybody who does a good implementation.

      1. VinceH

        Re: Play-Doh???

        More logical would be to make the product to be ordered user programmable.

        When you first receive your button, you log into Amazon on your computer, find the product you want to be able to order this way, and hit a link that assigns it to your button. Then you press the button which sends the necessary token to Amazon to link the button to that product. Confirm. Thereafter, pressing the button would place an order for the product you have associated with it.

        Provide a way to label it, and people can have more than one for different things.

        Better solution all round, IMO - and I can possibly see use cases for people with special needs, older people, and so on (possibly with flaws because I haven't thought them through).

        Even like that, though, I'd still not bother myself.

        1. handle

          Re: Play-Doh???

          More logical for you - not more logical for them. As has been pointed out, the only purpose of these is to sell you overpriced branded goods with the ultimate weapon of concealing the price entirely, which they wouldn't do if you could choose what you bought.

  27. Rob D.

    Size matters

    The Durex Dash Button is exclusively for Prime Members.

  28. Bucky 2

    Season Specific

    The condom delivery is impractical in the summer. Outdoor mailboxes can get very hot, and latex degrades when heated (the reason you're not supposed to keep them in your wallet).

    I suppose if you live in an apartment building with indoor mailboxes AND you care, for some reason, whether a retailer you see in person knows that YOU know what a wang is used for....

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually quite useful

    I see an awful lot of negative comments here, so I thought I'd chime in with our experience (in the USA).

    Yes, we have some of these. We use them for things that we need fairly regularly, but not regularly enough that we can have them delivered monthly. Yes, we could just add them to the shopping list on the fridge and hope they get purchased by whoever is doing the shopping next, but after a few "oops, forgot to get that" moments for important things, these seemed worth trying.

    And it turns out they're quite handy (and, also, free, since the cost is deducted from the first order...we actually made $4 per button on several of them because they were running a special).

    We have one for toilet paper (just hit the button when we're down to the last 4 pack), and another for wet TP (when you get the last pack out of the cupboard, hit the button).

    We have some in the kitchen for various food and drinks that we were ordering through Amazon already (because they're cheaper, or because they're just hard to get in local stores). When you move the last can of whatever into the fridge, hit the button.

    And, yes, I have one for condoms. They're not something you think about writing on the shopping list at the moment you notice you're running low. And it's very inconvenient to need one and not have one.

    These aren't "oh crap, I need something now" buttons. They're "oh, time to reorder some of that" buttons. They take 2 days for delivery here (standard Prime shipping time), although I think you can set them up to use whatever shipping method you want.

    Also, you do get a notification when an order is placed, and if you're paying attention, you can cancel it. And they can be set up to not allow you to order something while an order is in progress (or, if you want to risk it, you can turn off that safeguard and order as many times as you push the button...heaven help you if the toddler gets ahold of one of them, or your drunken friends that like to prank you).

    1. handle

      Re: Actually quite useful

      "Because they're cheaper?" No, because they were cheaper when you were sucked in. Do you still check to see if they are still cheaper?

  30. toughluck

    Too many cooks...

    Imagine a button for Kleenex:


    7 am, Husband: Oh, we're almost out of bog roll. [Presses button]

    7:30, Wife: Oh, we're almost out of toilet paper. [Presses button]

    8 am, Kid #1: Ugh, no more toilet paper. [Presses button]

    8:30 am, Kid #2: Seriously, am I supposed to wipe my arse with my hand? [Presses button]

    10 am, Dog: Woof, woof [Presses button]

    1 pm, Dog: Woof, woof, growl [Presses button ten times]

    1:10 pm, Dog: Woof, woof, woof [Gnaws on the button and presses it some more]

    5 pm, Husband: Where's that button? Oh, there it is. Ew, what is that? Hmm, did I order toilet paper in the morning? Oh, well, better safe than sorry, at worst we'll have two packs [Presses button]

    2/09, a dump truck pulls back and unloads a few hundred packs on the family front yard. The driver walks up the door, asks to sign and tells them that this is first part of the order since Amazon only stores 500 packs locally and they'll source the remaining 40000 packages as soon as possible.

  31. i1ya

    Funny comments, but actually not a bad idea

    I spent some good time reading 'condom' stories... Now please keep in mind that if the concept will take off and the idea will be adopted, we will have numerous customizable clones of "WIFI command button" that can perform any command for you once you press it, including e-commerce orders, calling taxi or doing anything you want it to do. But why bothering if we already have smartphones and can stick QR tags in proper places? Maybe because of convenience.

  32. Chloe Cresswell

    Press a button to have amazon logistics screw up another delivery to your house?

    "I'm almost out of loo roll, well, I did want to sit in tomorrow from 0800 to 2100 in case amazon turn up"?

  33. PhilipN Silver badge

    Got it!

    Forget delivery drones. The answer is long distance vacuum tubes - a la "Brazil" (the movie) and Department Stores from long ago.

    Click ----- whoosh -----clunk ----- ahhhhh!

  34. This post has been deleted by its author

  35. James Cullingham

    The birth of the Eloi

    I think we've found the singularity for the Eloi/Morlock split

  36. Cuddles Silver badge

    Nice idea, but odd choices

    This idea seems to get a lot of criticism, but I'm not really sure why. We're already happy to order a lot of things from Amazon, Ebay, and various other places, and there's really no reason some things should always be restricted to physical visits to a shop. If I'm happy to order a single cable or a pair of shorts from Amazon, what is so weird about also ordering toilet roll? Just because the latter has traditionally been included as part of a supermarket shop doesn't mean there's something inherently silly about ordering it separately if that's the only thing you need.

    But where it seems a bit odd is that the obvious use for having dedicated buttons instead of just regular online shopping is the added convenience for things you need quite regularly. So why on Earth are there things like Aerial and Playdoh on the list? Washing powder is not something you need a new box of every week, while things like playdoh and nerf equipment don't generally need buying more than once ever. Having a handy button to press when you notice you're down to the last loo roll seems like a great idea, but I just can't imagine a situation where you regularly need emergency playdoh replacements on 24 hours notice.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Delivered by one of those big fluffy dogs.

    OH WAIT! That's dulux.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

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