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Why The New Amazon Button Sold Out On the First Day?

Amazon Dash buttons arrived on the scene last year to unwitting consumers. The concept was simple. You stick a tide button on your washing machine and when you find yourself running low on detergent, you simply give it a quick tap. The following day, an Amazon delivery driver replenishes your supply without any added effort.

Although a fantastic idea in principle, sticking buttons all over your home to auto-replenish household items felt like overkill. There are also a number of dangers, like your adorable 2-year-old accidentally ordering 77 bottles of detergent.

Amazon has now indicated their intentions to take this idea to the next level. They’ve announced the release of the AWS IoT Button. For those of you who despise acronyms, it’s the Amazon Web Services Internet of Things button. (That’s a lot of letters!) Sometimes the acronyms are a necessary evil.

Unlike its precursor, this IoT button is completely blank. That allows users to program it to connect to any Amazon service without coding or complicated procedures. Although it’s easy to navigate, the device wasn’t developed with housewives in mind. Amazon expressly stated that this programmable IoT button is designed to help developers learn how to use AWS IoT, AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Simple Notification Service and other Amazon Web Services.

In other words, it is clearly aimed at developers.

In many ways, it represents a challenge. Amazon is challenging developers and us to use our ideas to unlock the unrealized potential in these tiny buttons. To ignite this competition, the limited release of the device came complete with a brainstorming sales pitch to kick-start tech imaginations.

The button can be used as a remote control for Netflix, a switch for your Philips Hue Light Bulb, a check-in/check-out device for Airbnb guests, or a way to order your favorite pizza for delivery.

Thanks to their newfound versatility, these blank slate buttons were considerably marked-up, from $5 to $20. But this is a small price for a fantastic opportunity to explore your everyday and figure out how the AWS IoT can increase your efficiency.

Many will point out that this recent move by Amazon just legitimizes what has been happening for months. Last year there were reports of users hacking their Dash buttons to do everything from track people to pranking people with Domino’s Pizza orders. This innovation marks the beginning of a race to claim space in the Internet of Things. All that being the case, all the initial devices sold out. Undeniably, there is an insatiable thirst to be part of this digital transformation.

Despite traditional media feeding us stories about the 1% and how everything is helpless, the reality is that there have never been more opportunities for each and every one of us. Anyone with a simple or even complex idea can easily outsource every aspect of the production, delivery, and marketing process of that idea to bring it to life.

And all sorts of barriers and limitations have crumbled. The geographic barriers have all but vanished. The always-on culture allows people to work seamlessly from around the world. Consumers are turning their backs on traditional services. The sharing economy is granting everyday citizens the ability to search for ways and new people to give them what they want.

It’s great to see people from all over the world collaborating in multiple time zones. Indeed, it seems that individual users, developers, engineers and even businesses all have a very healthy interest in how technology can reshape our future.

And now that Pandora’s box is open, we will see if the global community can think up better ideas than the mighty Amazon.

Published on Retire.ly with permission from Anurag*