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Amazon Dash: The IoT Race has Just Begun

Posted by Ian Uriarte

May 26, 2015

The Internet of Things (IoT) is opening up a wide world of possibilities. The results are remarkable innovations like Amazon Dash, which has the potential to really heat up the race for cloud based e-commerce retailers.

Amazon Dash makes ordering select goods online easier than ever. Dash uses an Amazon application on the smartphone to connect to the consumer’s home Wi-Fi network. Once connected, the consumer simply presses the button to automatically place an order for the associated product. So, for instance, when the consumer runs out of laundry detergent or cereal for the kids, she just speaks into the device or scans the bar code to reorder from over 500,000 items on the AmazonFresh website.

What will they think of next? With IoT, virtually anything seems possible. In fact, already Amazon has developed complementing innovations: Amazon Dash comprises a button dedicated to specific products that adheres or hangs wherever needed. For example, a Tide detergent button can be affixed to a washing machine and, when pressed, re-orders the laundry detergent for the consumer. With either application—Amazon Dash or Dash Buttons—consumers can opt out of an order through their smartphone, which receives an order alert before the actual order is placed.

If you’ve heard about IoT, but never really thought it applied to you, think again. IoT makes it possible to dream big.

In essence, IoT is about connecting all sorts of devices to the Internet. From home refrigerators and barbecue grills to smartphones and tablets to jet engines and oil rigs, IoT allows performance and other data to be read and transmitted through the Internet to collection sites, such as your company’s server. From there, it’s easy for an organization to use the data to do everything from replenishing supplies to forecasting future needs.

For retailers using cloud based e-commerce solutions, IoT opens a new world of connectivity. With inventory management alone, IoT reduces the challenges of tracking and replenishing stock with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags that track items in a variety of ways whether on the store shelf or the warehouse.

The use of IoT in the sales and marketing realm is already ramping up. IoT lets retailers track consumer buying habits, preferences, location, and other information in order to target the most-relevant promotions. Have you been near a Starbucks and received a coupon on your smartphone? That’s IoT at work.

For years, IoT has allowed us to track deliveries and shipments through Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. Today, IoT has refined those capabilities by allowing for more efficiency through route mapping and by tracking fuel usage, vehicle location, and other components. Among other things, this data helps reduce theft and product loss, and identifies maintenance issues before they result in downtime.

IoT is even bringing value to the warranty space through sensors attached to products that feed information to manufacturers or retailers about product performance.

In short, if you can dream it, IoT can likely deliver it. With IoT sensors expected to number in the trillions in a few short years, it’s time to use the technology to get ahead in the race.