April 6, 2014
Amazon.com Launches Handheld Scanning Device For Grocery Service
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
If you find yourself tiring of the whole “making a grocery list and then running to the local store” method of replacing your food supply, than a new device announced by Amazon.com on Friday should be perfect for you.
The device is known as the Amazon Dash, and according to Reuters, it is a black-and-white handled wand that will be used in association with the online retailer’s AmazonFresh home grocery delivery service.
The instrument features a microphone, a speaker and a barcode reader and links directly to a customer’s AmazonFresh account, explained re/code’s Jason Del Rey, and products can be added to the user’s shopping list by scanning the packaging or simply speaking the name of the desired item into the wand-like device.
In an interview with Del Rey on Saturday, Amazon.com director of mobile shopping Paul Cousineau outlined the e-commerce giant’s ambitious plans for the device: “If you never had to type again on a phone that would be great. We want you to go from 'I want that' to 'I bought that' in 30 seconds or 10 seconds… a very short period of time.”
Of course, as David Murphy of PC Mag points out, the Amazon Dash will be available to a very limited audience. The device, which is available free of charge during a trial period, is available by invitation only. Furthermore, the AmazonFresh service is only open to residents of Southern California, San Francisco and Seattle, though it should be in a total of 20 cities by the end of the year.
That, Murphy said, is “a wee bit of a bummer, as we'd gladly pony up a small fee to have a more open device that could work in conjunction with the many, many list-tracking applications out there today. We wouldn't even mind if Amazon worked as the middleman – sending all scanned items to an interstitial webpage of sorts where one could elect to buy the goods of AmazonFresh or… dump them out to a third-party list service.”
Everything else aside, Del Ray said that the Amazon Dash announcement reveals that the company is “dead serious about expanding its grocery business,” and “investing time and money into planning for a future where the search bar on Amazon websites and apps becomes the less convenient shopping tool.”