Amazon is more than just an e-commerce giant. It is a leader in smart home products, and with its recent Whole Foods acquisition, it is also an upcoming grocery chain. About an year ago, I wrote about the Amazon Dash button - a tiny device that will order an associated product with the click of one button. Back then I was unaware that another Dash product, the Dash Wand, even existed. Recently, Amazon updated the Dash Wand to make it even better… but before we get to that:
What is the Amazon Dash Wand?
In simple terms, it is a barcode scanner. There is more to it though. The Dash Wand is a gadget that can help you add items to your Amazon cart as and when you need to purchase them. If your detergent, tissue paper or other household supplies are about to get over, you can scan their barcodes and add them to your Cart through the Dash Wand. Then you can open your app and pay.
The other big feature of the Dash Wand is voice recognition. Instead of scanning the barcode, you can simply ask the Dash Wand to add an item to your cart. Sounds familiar?
The New Dash Wand
Amazon’s newest Dash Wand comes with Alexa, making it much more than a barcode scanner. You can ask Alexa to add stuff to your shopping cart, but also general questions like “How’s the weather in New York?” or “How many calories in Greek Yogurt?”. And as it taps into Alexa’s cloud database, it gets better every day.
When you purchase a Dash Wand for $20, you also receive $20 in Amazon credit, making the device essentially free of cost.
But there are problems…
The Dash Wand may seem like a must have in this day and age, but hold up, you probably cannot have it. Dash Wand is only available for Amazon Fresh customers, which means if you do not live in the few cities that have Amazon Fresh, you are out of luck.
But that’s not all: 31% of Dash Wand users have given it a one-star rating on its Amazon product page. People have complained about the Dash Wand saying that it is low quality hardware and that the barcode scanner works erratically. Plus, products added to the cart through the Wand are supposedly way more expensive - even up to 300% more - than the original listing on Amazon. Holy sh*t!
The Dash Wand, sadly, is too early in its game. So much so that barely anybody knows about it since it launched in 2014. Having Alexa in the Dash Wand does put it in an interesting position, for it isn’t a smart home device. The Dash Wand may be genuinely useful for some, but the lack of knowledge and support surrounding the product is of great concern for anyone considering it.
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