Amazon has launched a device in the UK that allows customers to order food shopping from their kitchen by calling out ingredients or scanning a bar code.
The Amazon Dash is a small handheld stick that is designed to make it easier for customers to order everything they’d normally get from their supermarket via AmazonFresh — the company’s online food delivery service.
A built-in microphone and an LED scanner allow the Dash to recognise what the customer wants and adds that item to their shopping basket. However, completing the order must be done by logging onto Amazon’s website.
“We’re all used to trying to remember the contents of the fridge and kitchen cupboard and scribbling down reminders on pieces of paper,” said Ajay Kavan,VP of AmazonFresh, in a statement on Thursday. “With Dash, at any given time, customers can keep track of products when they come to mind and scan to reorder groceries and household essentials as soon as they run out. At Amazon, we’re always looking to innovate based on feedback and Dash has been designed to continually learn as customers use it.”
Amazon is giving the device away for free to anyone that makes two AmazonFresh deliveries between now and August 28. Those that fail to make two deliveries will be charged £35 for it.
In the US, Amazon has released a number of Dash “buttons” that can be placed onto things like washing machines and used to order specific items when they’re depleted. In the washing machine instance, the Amazon Dash button would be pre-programmed to order washing powder or washing tablets when pushed.
Amazon has also launched another household device in the US called the Amazon Echo. The Amazon Echo also uses voice recognition technology but it’s arguably more sophisticated than the Dash because it can be used to carry out a plethora of things, including music, light switches, and thermostats. It can also be used to order a Domino’s pizza or request an Uber.
Prior to the launch of all these products, Amazon acquired a Cambridge-based voice recognition startup called Evi Technologies for a reported $26 million (£20 million).
Business Insider asked Amazon how Evi’s software has been incorporated into Dash but did not immediately hear back.