So long, li’l Dash button, your one-press re-ordering is no longer needed, and Amazon has stopped selling you (hat tip to CNet). You’ll now join other endeavors Amazon pulled the plug on, like the Fire phone and a New York City headquarters.
Actually, that’s not entirely fair. Amazon Dash had a good run and was good at what it did. It’s just no longer necessary in an Alexa-powered — and increasingly connected — world.
For the uninitiated, in its first iteration, Amazon Dash was a small, five dollar, internet-connected device with a single button that could do one thing: re-order a particular product. Running low on Bounty Paper Towels or Tide laundry detergent? Press the Bounty button or Tide button to automatically order more from Amazon.
Back when Dash debuted, there weren’t nearly as many connected devices in the house, so the idea of replenishing often-used items with the touch of a button was actually pretty useful. We liked the simplicity of the Dash back in the day. In 2016, The Spoon’s Mike Wolf wrote:
Introduced a day before April Fool’s Day in 2015, it turned out the button was no joke, as the button (and the associated Dash Replenishment Service) represented an effort by Amazon to bring point-of-consumption ordering to the home and into the kitchen. ‘Why wait for consumers to go to the Amazon website?’ Amazon seemed to be asking with the Button, when they could move the point of replenishment and reordering to the actual point of consumption?
But now Amazon has built Dash Replenishment Services into a lot of different appliances (including the Amazon microwave) and rolled out virtual Dash buttons, not to mention the fact that you can simply ask Alexa to order your stuff — no button needed.
The other problem is that each button was brand specific, so if you outgrew the need for diapers or no longer liked a particular drink, you were stuck with a useless button stuck on your pantry.
But it wasn’t too long after our initial writing of the wonder button that we realized the jig was up for the Dash. In January of 2017, Mike Wolf updated his Dash assessment with:
The quiet CES for Dash replenishment makes me wonder if Amazon is beginning to look towards voice-assisted purchasing as the future for kitchen and smart home commerce. The company is making more things available to buy through Alexa, not altogether surprising give how focused the company is on sustaining its early lead in voice assistants.
Amazon is going to stop selling Dash buttons globally, but will continue to support orders through existing Dash buttons as long as people are using them. (Poetically, this seems to be the equivalent of the two times people die, the day of their actual death, and the last time someone says their name.)
Don’t cry for Dash, it had a good run and helped usher in a more connected home.