Amazon has announced a new service to allow third party companies to integrate dash buttons with their own products and tools. The company is calling it the Virtual Dash Button Service and plans to roll it out within the next few months.
Dash buttons first appeared in 2015, when Amazon launched them in physical form. These buttons could be linked to popular household goods, such as laundry detergent and paper towels, and be placed throughout the home. When a customer needed to order more of a specific product, he or she could press the physical dash button and have it automatically submit a corresponding order through Amazon.
Later, Amazon expanded the concept of dash buttons into its own mobile website and smartphone application. Customers could add product-specific dash buttons to their device and use a single tap to place quick orders of many popular products.
Now with the Virtual Dash Button Service, manufacturers of other devices and appliances can leverage Amazon ordering into their product design. The service will function like a software development kit (SDK), specifically aimed at third parties who sell or service smart devices with touchscreens.
Amazon has revealed that certain manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, and Whirlpool, are already working with the Virtual Dash Button Service for new products coming this year. For example, Whirlpool will be adding dash functionality to its new smart refrigerators. This will allow Amazon customers to quickly order new groceries right from the touchscreen on the front of their fridge. Different virtual touch buttons will appear on the screen based on products that the customer often purchases, and all ordering will be linked back to the customer’s Amazon account.
The new Virtual Dash Button Service will be opened up to manufacturers in all industry, no matter the size of their product. There will be no cost for software developers wanting to use the service, and Amazon is now accepting applications for access through its website.