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Staples Easy Button May Be Getting 'Smarts' For Ordering

  • Fortune, Thursday, February 25, 2016 9:05 AM

Few marketing tchotchkes have done as well as the Staples Easy Button: Sales of the $6.99 gadget passed the one million mark ten years ago. The iconic red button even shared the stage with President Barack Obama and Zach Galafaniakis on the online talk show Between Two Ferns. Not bad for something that, in truth, does nothing but say “that was easy” when pushed. But developers at Staples  SPLS -0.97%  are working to make the button much more useful by connecting it to back end services that will let business customers place their office supply orders and, eventually, check on order status via voice command, according to sources at the office supply retailer. Further down the line, the same back end systems will be able to handle orders sent by text message or email as well, said sources close to the project.

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