As 2015 approaches its end I thought to look back at new things that marked the year and that might prove to be game changers in the coming years. My pick, of course.
The first one that grabs my attention is the Amazon Dash Button.
The idea is simple. You get the button from Amazon at 4.99$ (but it is basically for free, its cost will be turned into a credit the first time you use it) and that button is WiFi enabled. It contains the code of the product you bought (like pet food) and that you are likely to buy several more times. It also contains your ID.
When you run out of the product you just press the button and voila! Amazon will receive your order and will ship it to you promptly.
What I like is the idea of connecting an object to a supplier. And it can be done in other ways, of course. Like taking a snapshot of the bar code through an app on your smart phone that will generate a message to the supplier to bring you a "refill"...
It can also get better, by having the box that becomes "connectivity enabled" so that by just pressing on its label for a second it will generate a message to the same effect.
This brings us into the internet of things, where every object/product is connected and gets customised by the owner. This can be done at the cash out point at the supermarket, associating to the object the fidelity card of the buyer and thus enabling a variety of services directly from the box.
With the internet of things and the possibility of associating an owner (or a user) to an object we are seeing the transformation of a product into a service. Through connectivity the supplier, as well as other service providers, can augment the value of the object customising it, in different ways to different users.
It is the dawn of a new world. something we have tasted in the world of software with its apps, that will extend to physical object in the coming years, becoming normal in the next decade.