It’s been said before that for all their intelligence — enabling you to play music, control smart home devices, and receive alerts when someone breaks into your home — Amazon’s Echo is essentially a Dash button with speakers.
Well, I guess Echo is just an intelligent speaker now, as Amazon announced today that it will indefinitely discontinue Dash buttons sales globally.
Dash buttons were first made available in 2015 as a way to help people reorder important items they often use in their homes — things like paper towels, laundry detergent, and energy bars. Dash buttons that cost $5 were made available from more than 150 brands, including Tide, Clif Bar, and Campbell Soup.
Since then, devices and services from Amazon have increasingly made the Dash button obsolete. These include the Echo Wand, which can scan the barcodes of devices you want to reorder, and Alexa, which can either help users do shopping research or remember the kind of toilet paper or trash bags or snacks you like.
Last year, virtual Dash buttons were introduced that let third parties make their own Dash buttons for devices with screens.
Dash Replenishment, a service that makes smart home devices like Brita water filters and Whirlpool washing machines automatically order new supplies, was introduced at the same time as the Dash button and now supports reorders for hundreds of products, a company spokesperson said in a statement shared with VentureBeat.
Existing Dash buttons will continue to work for the die-hard Dash fans out there. For people who like the simplicity of pressing a button to complete reorders, virtual dash buttons will also continue to work on devices like Amazon’s Echo Show.