Push the button

If Amazon has its way, the weekly trip to the supermarket to pick up washing up liquid, toilet roll and laundry detergent will soon be a thing of the past.

Yes, Amazon's UK customers can now push a button when they run out of toilet rolls or washing powder - and within 24 hours a package will arrive at the front door. Check it out below:

Here's how it works. There are Dash buttons for about 40 brands at launch, ranging from dishwasher tablets, to instant coffee to condoms. You buy the button - but get the cost off your first purchase. Then you set it up with the Amazon shopping app, choosing the exact product and your delivery preferences. From now on, when you run out of that product, pressing the wi-fi-connected button will simply trigger an order via the shopping app.

Sound too good to be true? Well what if you have a 3 year old (like I do) who loves to go around pressing buttons repeatedly? Am I going to get a mountain of toilet rolls delivered? Well... no. Amazon have thought about this and enabled a one button press per 24-hours which eliminates the worry.

But what if I forget to press the button and I run out of dishwasher tablets leaving me with a day's worth of dirt dishes? (I mean... that would involve washing them myself!) Not to worry! Amazon have thought of that as well by launching a sister product, which takes removing the hassle of shopping a stage further. Dash Replenishment involves devices such as dishwashers and printers automatically ordering new supplies of tablets or ink cartridges without their owner needing to do anything, except sign up in the first place.

So with the need for the weekly shop eliminated what will that mean for our local supermarkets? Indeed, what impact will this have on the environment with all those extra deliveries from the Amazon fulfillment centre on the roads? Are we happy to tie ourselves to the big brands whose buttons we will push, or appliances which will automatically order their overpriced supplies on our behalf?

In this day and age of on demand television and music streaming services, I suppose instant product ordering was inevitable!

Now excuse me while I go and top up my loo roll...