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Amazon adds Alexa to Dash Wand barcode scanner, offers it essentially free

16 June 2017

Amazon's latest offering is a designated kitchen assistant called Dash Wand. The hand-held, Wi-Fi enabled gadget allows users to add groceries to their online shopping cart via voice commands or by scanning the barcode on a specific product.

The device helps users find recipes, convert cups to ounces, locate nearby restaurants and more, and comes essentially free, as users pay $20 for the device and get $20 off their next purchase.

Amazon had initially released the Dash Wand back in 2014, which boasted similar features as the new device, but was not powered by Alexa.

The upgraded version not only helps one to stay on top of one's household goods and groceries, but it can also be used to tweak the lights around the home, find places to eat in one's neighborhood and help find the perfect dish to make for a party.

Users need to only push a button to stock up on groceries, order paper towels or find a tasty pizza place in town.

Not only can users get back their money after purchasing the device, Amazon will also let them try AmazonFresh free for 90 days, which is normally $14.99 a month.

The Dash Wand does not stay plugged into a wall and can be placed on the fridge, hung in the bathroom or placed anywhere in the house.

According to commentators, the price point would prove to be a surefire method for turning what was essentially a niche device into introducing Alexa to a lot of users. They say like AmazonFresh, this probably was not quite a mainstream market at the moment, but it should help get Alexa into even more homes.

They point out that this was Amazon's loss leader model in its purest form as the devices had always been less about hardware and more about getting users into it e-commerce ecosystem.

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