Alexa can now do more than just spit out the weather and play music – she’s ready to help stock the kitchen from your kitchen.
The third time is definitely the charm for Amazon’s Dash Wand, a new Alexa-enabled gadget that lets users scan grocery barcodes, convert measurements on the fly, and re-stock household essentials via Amazon with the power of voice-activated ordering.
The device, which was initially released in 2014 and only available to Amazon Fresh clients, has been redesigned with Wi-Fi capabilities and lets those enrolled in the Prime membership program order products directly from the gadget – as well as finding recipes and restaurants without even lifting a finger.
It’s currently priced at $20, but those who order the Dash Wand will immediately receive a $20 credit in their Amazon accounts, good to use for any home item or kitchen product on the site.
The device is enabled to scan almost any product with a barcode imaginable, and even if you have a specialty item or ingredient in your kitchen that isn’t readily available within Amazon’s marketplace, the gadget will place a comparable filler item in your cart until you are ready to review your purchase.
While the Dash Wand is certainly no Echo, the magnetized shopping assistant has two small speakers and is able to control Alexa-compatible smart home devices, like lights, door locks and temperature monitors.
What’s the catch, you find yourself asking?
There’s a couple of caveats worth noting – unlike it’s predecessor, the Amazon Echo, it’s not hands-free: you’ll need to physically pick the wand up and activate it before using voice technology to assist you. It also isn’t a kitchen timer or alarm, so keep those clocks handy.
The most noticeable downfall of the gadget is part of it’s most amazing feature – early reviews have made it clear that while the Dash Wand will automatically add the products you order to your Amazon cart, it’s imperative that you check prices before you finish the order. À la carte items can sometimes be at a heftier price than available at nearby in-store retailers.
It seems to be a no-brainer for the home cook, and the avid Amazon Prime user, to grab one of these brand new toys – but it seems that convenience might come at a slightly higher price.