Grocery shopping on Amazon from a browser on your computer (heck, even on your phone) is a lot more convenient than driving down to the local grocery and pushing a cart from shelf to shelf. Apparently, Amazon doesn’t think it’s convenient enough, so they came up with Amazon Dash, a gadget that lets you update your shopping list without having to open a browser or an app.
A handheld device shaped like a chubbier magic wand, it lets you add items to your shopping list as soon as you realize you need them, eliminating the chances you’ll forget them later when you sit down to plan your grocery shopping. Whether that happens when you’re checking for ingredients in the kitchen, raiding the fridge, or watching Rachel Ray on TV, there’s no need to log on to Amazon’s website anymore. Instead, all you have to do is use Dash to scan the barcode on your empty box of Honey Nut Cheerios (it has an LED scanner) or say its name into the integrated mic to have that item immediately added to your AmazonFresh account.
The Amazon Dash comes with built-in WiFi, using your home network to update your account in real-time every time you add something new to your shopping list. Since speech recognition isn’t a perfect science (Amazon could have misheard your order of Jack Daniels Whiskey Filled Chocolate for instance), you’ll still have to open your Amazon account to confirm payment and approve the delivery schedule. From there, you can also fine-tune your list, fix any incorrect items, and remove the one-year supply of packaged cotton candy your daughter ordered when you forgot to hide the Dash while napping on the Ice Cream Bench.
You’ll need to get an invite to use Amazon Dash, which is free, for now. It’s currently live in parts of California, with New York rumored to follow soon.