Amazon Resurrects The Dash Wand, Makes It Virtually Free For Prime Members – Forbes

Stick it on your fridge, scan your items, ask it to tell you a joke.

Image: Amazon

Stick it on your fridge, scan your items, ask it to tell you a joke.

Amazon’s first experiment with on-demand shopping devices, the Dash Wand, was the precursor for the dozens of buttons you currently have stuck on the wall in your pantry, under your sink, and right by the toilet paper (not that anyone seems to be able to press the button when they use the last roll…or maybe that’s just at my house). It was similar to the Hiku that I reviewed last year, in that you could scan a barcode and have the product added to a list (or, more specifically, your Amazon shopping cart).

But with the rise of the Dash buttons and their literal one-click shopping and the Echo family with its ability to shop by voice command, there wasn’t a lot of use for a one-trick-pony barcode scanner that got lost in your junk drawer.

Still, if the success of Hiku is any indicator, there is a market for people whose purchases can’t be confined to one-click buttons and don’t feel like barking their orders out to Alexa. Barcode scanning is an efficient way of making lists and getting exactly what you want. So Amazon took their old form factor and gave it some new tricks.

The new Amazon Dash Wand with Alexa is exclusive to Prime members (for now) and combines the old Dash Wand with everyone’s favorite shop-bot. It’s a bit of an experiment to see if there is a market for yet another Alexa-enabled device; but it’s one on which Amazon is willing to put down some cash. Once you register your Dash Wand, you’ll get $20 in your Amazon account. Considering the cost of the device itself is $20, it makes it virtually free (you were going to spend that money on the Amazon site anyway, right?).

So how do you use it? You press and hold the button on the Dash Wand and point it at the barcode you want to scan. It’s then added to your Amazon shopping cart. Or, you can press the button once and tell Alexa what it is you’re looking for and it purchases the item.

What’s nice is that the Dash Wand is magnetic and water-resistant so, even if you’re not going to use the barcode scanning abilities, you can stick it anywhere you want Alexa capabilities but wouldn’t want to keep an Echo or Dot, like in the garage or bathroom. The water resistance is a great feature, since usually, by the time I’ve cleaned up the kitchen, I’ve forgotten all the ingredients I used up and should have added to my list. With the new Dash Wand I can just grab it, scan as I go, then rinse the device clean when I’m scrubbing down everything else.

If you’re a Prime member and an Alexa fan, grabbing the new Amazon Dash Wand with Alexa makes perfect sense. The $20 credit offer is only good until Amazon runs out of “promotional items” so if you’re interested, you’ll want to act fast. The purchase page is here (and the fine print on the promotional details is here).

Happy scanning!

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