It seems that this is the year for sunsetting products that no longer make sense in today’s world or, more importantly, don’t make the company any money. One of Amazon’s oddest products, right next to its fashion-sensing Echo Look, fits the bill on both accounts. Part barcode scanner and part Alexa microphone, the Amazon Dash Wand was envisioned to revolutionize the way you order supplies, especially in the kitchen. Starting July, however, it will practically become some pointless device that might not even be useful as a paperweight.
The Dash Wand was launched three years ago at a time when Amazon was pushing its “Dash” brand to be its super convenient system for ordering products. That brand included its line of Dash buttons that also met their demise last month. The Dash Wand’s end practically marks the end of Amazon’s Dash products as well.
Amazon’s eccentric wand worked either by scanning barcodes or speaking to what was back then a more limited version of Alexa to order supplies by voice. Amazon eventually put a more powerful voice assistant in that device, giving it a purpose beyond what Amazon initially thought. People were using it more like battery-powered portable Alexa mics instead of Alexa-powered speakers like Amazon’s own Echo line.
That was already bad business for the Echo but even worse was the fact that no one was actually buying the $50 Dash Wand outright. The device came as part of Amazon’s old Fresh subscription and was often included in several discounted deals and offers. In other words, the Dash Wand was practically offering customers a free and more portable Alexa device instead of spending on a speaker.
It’s no surprise, then, that Amazon is reportedly ending support for both generations of the Dash Wand on July 21. Rather than simply no longer pushing updates or adding features, it means the devices will stop working completely. Owners are being encouraged to send their wands to Amazon’s recycling program unless they want to keep a part of Amazon’s history with them, even if it will ultimately add to the planet’s electronic waste.