First the Fire TV, and now the Dash.
Only a few days after Amazon unveiled its Fire TV set-top box, the Seattle company today just debuted its second piece of hardware in less than a week — though this new shopping aid was a little more unexpected.
Amazon’s new Dash device gives Amazon Fresh customers the ability to add items to an online grocery list with either a built-in barcode scanner or microphone.
The six-inch skinny stick, which looks somewhat like the remote for the Fire TV, is Wi-Fi enabled and connected with a user’s Amazon Fresh account. Once you say or scan an item that you need, it will show up in your Amazon Fresh shopping cart. The idea is to help people order groceries more efficiently when running low on certain products.
Amazon Fresh, the company’s grocery delivery service, launched more than five years ago but is still only available in Seattle, Los Angeles and most recently San Francisco. The program has been one of the longest trial runs in technology history, rivaling the Gmail beta in duration, which is a testament to Amazon’s willingness to take the long view. After watching failed delivery companies like Webvan and HomeGrocer, Amazon has taken its sweet time and “tinkered” with the economics to come up with a workable formula.
You can sign up to receive the Dash here, though keep in mind that it’s rolling out on an invitation-only basis to customers in L.A. and San Francisco — sorry, Seattleites. The video below shows customers ordering everything from guitar strings to strawberry yogurt with the Dash: