Amazon’s Dash Buttons always felt like a weird experiment/monument to consumerism.
Buy this small wireless gadget for $5, tap it whenever you want to re-order soap, pet food, or other frequently-purchased items, and Amazon will bill you and ship your product automatically (and give you a $5 credit with your first order).
In a statement released to Engadget, Amazon says that “starting August 31st, 2019, customers will no longer be able to place orders through Dash button devices globally.”
Amazon customers who really like the idea of one-tap shopping for regularly-purchased items can still use “virtual dash buttons” on the Amazon website. But clicking a picture to order toothpaste, vitamins, or snack bars isn’t really all that different from searching for those products and clicking the “buy now button.”
That said, what I’ve always found kind of fascinating about Dash buttons is their potential for off-label usage. They’re basically $5 internet-connected, battery-powered buttons that can be hacked to do other things (like add data to a spreadsheet every time you click or control smart home gadget).
In fact, if Amazon’s physical dash buttons have any sort of future, it’s in this hackable/programmable realm. While the $5 Dash buttons for shopping have been discontinued, Amazon continues to sell the AWS IoT Enterprise Button for $20.
It’s basically a WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled Dash button that’s designed to be programmed to things other than let you buy things. And it’s the last dash button-like thing still standing (unless you count clones from companies that aren’t Amazon).