Say what you will about Amazon Web Services, but the company is not afraid to take some risks. (Perhaps when you own a market like AWS does, it becomes a little easier to throw caution to the wind.) Case in point: the IoT Button Enterprise Program AWS announced on Thursday
, which stretches the definition of cloud to its edge. Or maybe just to the
Essentially, AWS is selling enterprises buttons that look a lot the Amazon Dash button, only with custom branding. And instead of ordering Tide or milk or whatever, a press of the button triggers whatever function the company has programmed it to do. That could be a back-office task, or a consumer-facing service.
Here are the examples AWS provides of how one might use the new buttons:
Reordering services or custom products such as pizza or medical supplies
Requesting a callback from a customer service agent
Retail operations such as a call for assistance button in stores or restaurants
Inventory systems for capturing products amounts for inventory
Healthcare applications such as alert or notification systems for the disabled or elderly
Interface with Smart Home systems to turn devices on and off such as turning off outside lights or opening the garage door
Guest check-in/check-out systems
The IoT button idea was audacious to begin with, and even more so when it’s targeted at enterprise customers. It’s also brilliant—just like the idea to start AWS in the first place when the whole world thought of Amazon as a bookseller. The buttons, along with the AWS Greengrass
service the company announced at re:Invent in December, are early efforts to own the edge while everyone else is still fighting to get a piece of the centralized cloud (while, of course, still making money on the cloud backend).
If the Internet of Things really is the future, that is a great position to be in.