Amazon Steps Into Smart Home Market

(image via Amazon.com)

(image via Amazon.com)

Amazon has unveiled two new services that appear to be the tip of the iceberg with respect to the company’s emerging Internet of Things strategy, according to a Fortune article by Stacey Higginbotham.

The first is the company’s new Dash Buttons, which are essentially little WiFi-connected buttons that can be used to conveniently and immediately order common household items. For example, a dash button for Tide could be placed on a user’s washing machine; when pressed, it would simply place an order for another bottle of detergent. The company is launching its Dash Buttons with 17 partners on deck (including Tide), and has also released an SDK to let other companies build their own Dash Buttons for installation in their products.

The other new initiative is Amazon Home Services. Like the Dash Buttons, Home Services is intended as a way for users to conveniently place orders through the company – in this case, for handiwork and other services involving professionals coming straight to the user’s home. There’s actually a huge range of services available, from Gutter Cleaning to something called the Goat Grazing Service. Higginbottom frames Home Services as a foray into the smart home market, and while the new service doesn’t necessarily entail connected home applications, it does have obvious corollary goods and services in that area; so it could be seen as a kind of baby step into the smart home domain.

Amazon’s new services come very quickly after IBM’s announcement of major investment into the Internet of Things, which itself followed similar news from the British government. While there has long been buzz over the IoT, it looks like the big players are really starting to set their gears in motion in this area.