Digit Online

Digit Online – The World of Creative Technology. Digit is a cross-platform magazine

Farewell Amazon Dash Buttons, we hardly knew what you were for

AMAZON HAS CONFIRMED that its fun-but-fatally-flawed Dash Buttons are no more.

The buttons, which were designed to be stuck around the house at relevant points (an Andrex button in the toilet, a Persil button on the washing machine, a K-Y jelly button in the bedroom, that sort of thing), were designed to allow one-press ordering from your Amazon account for selected products from the range.

The big problem for us was that the options were limited both by the products you could order, and the quantity – most of the options were for three to six months supply, meaning the button spent most of its time lying idle. We also had issues getting them to stay stuck to the wall, but Amazon assures us they’ve fixed that.

Dash Buttons were a gimmick and a lure. By offsetting the $5/£5 cost from your first order, they were a great way of locking you into buying a more expensive product, almost without thinking. They played beautifully into people’s ideas of the future of shopping as viewed by sci-fi – everything at the touch of a button. It was almost reminiscent of The Jetsons.

Add to that, the fact that you still got the same discount, even when the buttons were on sale, and it was fairly clear that these were loss leaders.

But times change, and with Amazon completely fixed on voice control, with Alexa able to cope with ordering and curating your weekly grocery shop, the need for Dash buttons is even more non-existent than it was already.

The concept of Smart buttons isn’t dead though, more general devices like Flic, whilst expensive, work with IFTTT, meaning they can do far more than just order 56 bog rolls.

Amazon has committed to continuing to support Dash Buttons for the foreseeable, though they are now very much off sale.

But given the fact that the modding community has been making their own uses for Dash buttons, there’s every chance this isn’t the end for these post-modern pieces of tech paraphernalia. In fact, with the rise of smart home devices only increasing, this could be just the beginning. μ

Leave a Reply