Amazon discontinues its quirky Dash buttons

They're no longer needed in a world where people can shop hands-free through their smart speakers.

Amazon's physical Dash buttons are no more. The e-commerce giant has stopped selling its quirky, tap-to-order Dash buttons as of February 28th. It was an inevitable decision Amazon had to make with the advent of more advanced IoT devices, especially since more and more customers are using Alexa for hands-free shopping via the company's Echo devices. Besides, Amazon offers virtual Dash buttons buyers can easily access on its website or in-app.

Amazon's Dash buttons gave customers a way to quickly order necessities, like detergent, paper towels or hand soap, whenever they run out. The company also released buttons for specialty items and goods people might not want to go to stores for, such as condoms, underwear, supplements and meal replacement drinks. As CNET noted, there were far fewer connected gadgets back in 2015 when the devices debuted. Amazon VP Daniel Rausch called them an "awesome stepping stone into the world of connected home" -- one that no longer fits a world where smart speakers and connected appliances are becoming more common.

While the buttons are no longer available for purchase, Amazon will continue supporting them for current customers who still rely on the devices for one-tap ordering. A company spokesperson said in a statement:

"Since the introduction of the Dash program, we've continued to work on making the shopping experience convenient and easy, and in some cases, even disappear for customers. With Dash Replenishment, we've launched hundreds of devices globally that automatically reorder essentials so customers don't have to think at all about restocking. And we introduced virtual Dash Buttons, which are available digitally -- whether online, in the Amazon App, through screened devices like Echo Show or on third party devices. We've also seen customers increasingly using programs like Alexa Shopping, which provides a hands free shopping experience, and Subscribe & Save, which lets customers automatically receive their favorite items every month. With this in mind, we've decided to shift the Dash program focus -- as of February 28, Dash Button devices are no longer available for purchase on Amazon globally. Existing Dash Button customers can continue to use their Dash Button devices. We look forward to continuing support for our customers' shopping needs, including growing our Dash Replenishment product line-up and expanding availability of virtual Dash Buttons."