Amazon continues to make smart moves in it’s plan to dominate, not only the cloud infrastructure market, but also the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) industry. Far from satisfied with leading from an infrastructure standpoint, even against such competition as Microsoft and Google, Amazon has continued to show innovation in producing new products and seeing opportunities for collaboration and automation within their existing product groups.
The latest concept is their newest Amazon Dash button, the convenient way to order Amazon products with the press of your finger. This new Dash button integrates with AWS IoT, effectively enabling developers to use the device in collaboration with… pretty much anything. The magic of the market at the moment is that there are simply no limitations – conceptually the button could be used to unlock your front door, pay your power bill, or feed your dog. Commercially, potential applications have included fully automated online or physical stores, which would mean a buyer would press a button to purchase a product, which would signal a button to be pressed by Amazon, which in turn would send the item to the buyer.
The genius of this move though, is not in the product itself but in Amazon’s awareness that the real innovation is going to come not from inside the tech giant’s vast walls, but from external developers. The only limitations to what can be achieved are the technologies available and through this the automation that allows a product to be not only hypothetically interesting but realistic and provable for investors. This means that once again AWS will be the first stop for developers in a hurry, in other words, those with great ideas and the ambition to get them to market as quickly as possible.
Other organisations have criticised Amazon’s efforts in the past is too focused on physical product, an ethos which Amazon has stuck to even with regards to cloud technology, building cities of physical infrastructure to ensure their clients don’t have to do. In the Internet of Things, Amazon may have found its sweet spot. While other businesses are investing huge amounts in virtual and augmented reality, Amazon can yet again focus on its core strengths – purchases and interactions in the physical world complimented by virtual additions. While many see current positioning as rolling the dice regarding which technologies will move to the mainstream, Amazon may have created an insurmountable lead in the Internet of Things, certainly not with the technology which will continue to develop an unthinkable pace, but with an understanding how the technology will develop and who to best empower in order to create the products that will enhance all our lives.