Tuesday 20 September 2016 3:24 pm

Dixons Carphone has created an Amazon Dash style button prototype

Dixons Carphone is experimenting with the Internet of Things (IoT) to create an Amazon Dash style button that can be used to provide customer support when their devices go wrong.

Like a "panic button on a submarine", if your washing machine starts leaking, simply pressing the button will trigger a call back from Dixon's call centres, and information will already be to hand on the make and model of the device cutting out hassle.

The retailer is experimenting with the device to enable those who are less digitally savvy to access customer service in the same way as an app called Know How, which it's also experimenting with.

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Presenting the concept and demonstrating the button at the Twilio Signal conference in London today, Dixons' head of tehcnology, Dave Ward, said it was just one of the ways the retailer was starting to innovate.

The Know How app would work in the same way to connect consumers with customer services, saving them from having to dig out paperwork around warranties or insurance on their white goods or electronic items bought in store, as well as letting them communicate via messaging.

The firm is also looking at how connections with insurers and engineers could be incorporated into the app to streamline the whole process.

The prototype is underpinned by the communications software of Twilio, the US startup which IPOd this summer with a $2bn (£1.5bn) market capitalisation.

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Dixons has around 11m active care plans for customer products and said the additional service could potentially add to its recurring revenue.

IoT was cited as a major factor in the £3.6bn merger between retailers Dixons Retail, which included Currys and PC World, and Carphone Warehouse in 2014.

It said at the time servicing the IoT market could be worth up tp £5bn to the company. Analysts forecast the sector will be worth more than $100bn globally by 2020.