As we covered last week, Amazon has expanded its line of Alexa-enabled devices with a new barcode scanning wand that is supposed to make it easier to order your favorite foods and more from the company. Deemed the Dash Wand with Alexa, Amazon has now lowered the barrier of entry to trying out its voice assistant.
Amazon has tried its hand at similar devices in the past. But with its Dash Buttons, Amazon seems to have succeeded (for the most part); considering new brands are almost continuously added to the array of order-able products. Now pairing its Alexa assistant with the ‘one-click-ordering’ buttons, Amazon hopes to increase its marketshare in the home goods department.
In order to actually use the Dash Wand, you’ll first have to sync it with your smartphone and Amazon Prime account. The pairing process was pretty straightforward and relatively quick. I fired up my phone and went to the designated website, to which it then redirected to the Amazon app to finish pairing.
So what can you do with the Dash Wand? Well Amazon’s latest gadget is geared towards kitchen-related tasks, specifically ordering items. The built-in barcode scanner allows you to add food and just about anything else to your shopping cart. In order to actually confirm any orders made by the wand, you will have to use your phone or computer though.
The real star of the show for the new Dash Wand is the incorporation of Amazon’s Alexa assistant. For the most part, the Wand’s version of Alexa works just as you may be accustomed to on your Echo or Echo Dot. Although rather than constantly waiting for you to say that magical activation word, you’ll need to press a button to summon the assistant. This makes the dash wand more akin to that of a tiny Amazon Tap.
Ordering items with the Dash Wand was pretty convenient I will admit. After realizing I was running low on Gatorade, I scanned the barcode and two days later a fresh supply arrived for me. Having to confirm the order on my phone was kind of a pain though.
Unfortunately the Dash Wand doesn’t have some trouble keeping up with the other Alexa-enabled gadgets, as it lacks the ability to set timers and alarms or play music. The latter is understandable, but really? A device geared to help out in the kitchen and it lacks the ability to set a timer, I must be joking right? Sadly, I am not.
The wand is also magnetic, so you can attach it directly to your refrigerator or other objects throughout your home. An adhesive hook is also included in the packaging so you can hang the device wherever is most convenient for you.
With all this in mind, who exactly is the Dash Wand for? If you’re looking for a digital companion to assist while cooking, you’d be better suited picking up an Echo Dot. But if you’re in need of something to help stock your pantries, then the Dash Wand is definitely something you should consider.
The biggest factor on whether or not the Dash Wand will be useful is if you order food and home goods from Amazon already. If so, you’ll probably get some use out of the device.
Along with the device itself, you’ll also receive a $20 credit for further Amazon purchases. Unlike some of the other promotions Amazon has run, the credit can be used for any type of item, not just something specific to the category. The Dash Wand also includes a 90-day free trial for AmazonFresh, the company’s grocery service.
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