Engineering 101

The Dash Wand: Buy items directly with Amazon’s new toy

A new Alexa-enabled device, the Dash Wand, that can help you scan grocery barcodes, convert measurements, and order household essentials from Amazon just by using your voice, has been released by Amazon. The WiFi-enabled Dash Wand is magnetic, so you can stick it on your fridge, and also offers some of the features of its bigger Echo sibling, allowing you to find recipes and restaurants without using your hands.

At a few inches long, and made out of white and black plastic, the Dash Wand looks like a refreshed version of the company’s original Dash devices. First released in 2014, those Dash also let you scan item barcodes or use voice controls to add products to your shopping cart, but forced you to check out via Amazon’s site. They also had no Alexa access — Amazon’s assistant wasn’t available to the public then — and were only available to a limited number of existing AmazonFresh users. A second-gen version cost $49.99 and could add anything on Amazon to a shopping cart, but users still had to check out manually.

The Dash Wand, on the other hand, lets you buy items directly, and is now available to all Amazon Prime subscribers in the United States. It’s priced at $20, but Amazon Prime subscribers who do pick one up will receive $20 back in their Amazon accounts, making the Dash Wand essentially a free purchase. Customers will theoretically then use that returned cash to buy things using their new Dash Wand, picking up paper towels, soap, and other household essentials by asking the device to order each one, rather than needing a more expensive Echo or an individual Dash button for each product. Buyers will also get a free 90-day trial of the AmazonFresh home grocery service.

Source The Verge

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