Amazon Releases Dash Buttons

February 8, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. enable / ɛnˈeɪ bəl / (v.) – to make something possible
Example: The school created a new software that enables students to pay their tuition online.

2. designated / ˈdɛz ɪɡˌneɪ təd / (adj.) – assigned or selected for a specific purpose
Example: The designated computer must have the features required by the project.

3. exclusively / ɪkˈsklu sɪv li / (adv.) – available only to a specific person or group
Example: He could not sign up for the club because it was opened exclusively for women.

4. track / træk / (v.) – to follow someone or something to see where it is going
Example: The police were able to track the thief’s movements through the CCTV camera.

5. replace / rɪˈpleɪs / (v.) – to put something back to its original position
Example: She took the phone from the shelf and replaced it after the call.


Read the text below.
Amazon has officially released its newest shopping innovation—Dash Buttons.

Amazon Prime members may now purchase Amazon Dash Buttons, the retail giant’s newest attempt at making online shopping easier. The device enables users to order specific items with just a press of a button.

Each button is dedicated to one brand and may only be used to order a certain product under each brand. Before using the button, users need to set it up and assign it to a particular product. They would need a smartphone that supports the latest version of the Amazon Shopping App and a Wi-Fi network.

To set up the device, users should connect the button to a smartphone and assign a certain product that they will order with it. Once the button is ready, customers can simply mount it on a wall and click on it to order the designated product anytime. Afterward, customers can use the Amazon Shopping App to confirm their order or cancel it.

The button was first offered exclusively in the United States, but was later on launched in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Austria. It was also launched in Japan toward the end of 2016, where it is sold for ¥500 each, or around $5. As part of Amazon’s promotional strategy, the company let Japanese customers have their first Dash Buttons for free. 

In addition to Dash Buttons, Amazon also announced another shopping innovation called Amazon Go.

Amazon Go is a physical grocery store with no check-out counter. In this special grocery, customers can just grab the items they want and leave without paying at a cashier. The grocery uses technology that can track the customers’ location within the store and detect if they removed or replaced any item from the shelf. The customers are automatically charged on their Amazon accounts once they walk out of the store.

The Amazon Go store is located in Seattle. During its trial stage, the store was opened exclusively to Amazon employees, but the company said that it would be opened to the public early this year. 

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Which would you likely use, Amazon Dash Buttons or Amazon Go? Why?
·         How do you think Dash Buttons can be improved?

Discussion B

·         Which has more benefits, online shopping or traditional shopping?
·         If you were to create a modern shopping experience, what would it be? 

February 8, 2017