SCDigest Editorial Staff
The innovation machine that is Amazon continues on, with the internet giant late last week announcing a new device that will make on-line ordering even easier for some of its customers.
Amazon Dash can be seen as a waypoint between manual ordering on a computer and an even more automated future. It is a wand-like device with a LED scanner and voice recognition capabilities, and connects to another computer via Wi-Fi.Part of the vision of the “Internet of Things” concept was that refrigerators might sense when you were running low on milk, triggering an automatic order to replenish that and any other needed items. That was well before Amazon Fresh came around, by the way, but some similar entities would have had to be created to provide the delivery service.
It is designed to work with the Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service, and as shown in the video below, enables Amazon customers to order by either scanning the UPC code or simply speaking a product name into the device.
The scanning part seems straight forward enough – a customer would simply be ordering a replacement for the specific item and size designated by the unique UPC code.
Voice would be a little trickier. The video shows a customer simply speaking “apples” into the device, but of course, that doesn’t tell you what variety, how many, etc. It appears that perhaps that simply gets the category of apples on the order screen, from which a customer could define those other attributes when he or she goes to check out.
Initially and maybe forever, Amazon is providing the Dash devices free to customers. However, Amazon is currently offering its Fresh service only in its home market of Seattle, plus San Francisco and Los Angeles. But reports have said the company could roll out Fresh to some two dozen other markets once the concept is proven out in these first three areas.
“If you never had to type again on a phone that would be great,” said Amazon’s director of mobile shopping, Paul Cousineau, in an interview. “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.”