So it may be Game of Thrones month for the upcoming season 5 premiere in a lot of internet sites devoted to nerddom, but there was another important day this week that for the last few years has made the internet come alive in the name of comedy and foolishness.
That means shenanigans and hijinx. April Fool’s day, to be precise.
Every year a lot of companies in the nerd space assail us with pranks for new games or new products or just weird stuff in general – and with each passing year we’ve come to expect it. Google reversed everything with com.google and let you play Pac-Man in your Google maps. ThinkGeek advertised a Game of Thrones based edition of Clue taking place in Westeros, as well as a steam-powered Steam Box you could enjoy while drinking your Groot Beer. Microsoft went old school and “launched” MS-DOS Mobile for Lumia devices. And Blizzard, with their tried and true pranks, introduced the T.I.N.D.R. Box as an in-game item.
(Sorry kids, the link for Game of Thrones Clue was taken down. I’m hoping it’s because they’re going to MAKE IT REAL. You hear me, ThinkGeek? MAKE IT HAPPEN!)
But there was one trick I couldn’t figure out – and it was being played on me by Amazon. You see, they introduced Amazon Dash on April Fool’s day, a series of push-buttons you can affix anywhere in your home so that you will never (ever) run out of stuff. Stick a button marked “Tide” on your washer. Press the button when you need more. And more is bought for you. And delivered with Prime shipping. Check out the video below:
So clearly, this was just a joke, right? There’s no way I’m putting buttons all around my kitchen for Amazon shipment so I don’t have to go to the store to buy things, is there? Crap. I might. It’s possible highly probable that I’m just that lazy.
So I gave it a couple days and let it sink in. I figured maybe it would be a double cross and the reveal that it’s fake would be April 2nd. Or maybe they were bucking the trend and trying to hit me with a slow roll prank. Days passed and it didn’t go away. It just got more fleshed out. And it was then that it struck me – this is legit. I’ve signed up and I’m waiting for an invitation. Amazon Dash is part of their Amazon Fresh service, and you can sign up for it here. My address isn’t in the delivery area, but those April Fool’s buttons were just the start and I’m eagerly awaiting an expansion. If nothing else, I’ll have something to review for you kids, right? Now it looks like there’s a barcode scanner, with voice, that will scan and link anything you swipe with your Amazon Prime account, setting up an order. So in the wake of the confirmed legitness of Dash, to Amazon I have one thing to say:
You are absolutely brilliant.
From every aspect, Amazon is using the new “Internet of Things” craze to help people shop – and though these buttons are a bit weird, they might just save the day for people and families that are legitimately too busy. Doubly true for routine things we buy on a regular basis, like laundry detergent, coffee, and razors for shaving. What’s more is that big brands are getting in line to partner with them and be part of the program – after all, it’s their stuff we’re buying.
And how about debuting the program on April Fool’s day? If nothing else, they made Dash a household name within 24 hours of internet exposure – they made sure that regardless of whether we thought it was a prank or not that we at least knew the name. And whatever you truly believed, we were all scratching our heads on the 1st wondering if it was real.
So is this new IoT buying experience going to help streamline our busy lives, or is it taking us one step closer to what some would call our inevitable WALL-E future? I guess time will tell as Dash rolls out to more markets, and makes its way to a home near you. Here’s the latest from Amazon:
So let's see how this goes.
So let's see how this goes.