Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN:US) unveiled a new device that customers can use to add items to a shopping list by scanning barcodes or speaking the name of the product, in the e-commerce company’s latest push into consumer hardware.
Users can push a microphone button on the device, called the Dash, and say “chocolate chips” or “guitar strings” to have an item in Amazon’s online store automatically added to their shopping carts, according to a new page on the company’s website yesterday. People can also press a button to scan barcodes on jugs of milk or bottles of liquid soap when they’re about to run out of the product.
The goods can then be delivered the next day via Amazon Fresh, a grocery-delivery service that the company has started expanding beyond its home base of Seattle to cities including San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Dash, which connects to a home’s Wi-Fi network, is available for free by invitation only to a limited number of consumers.
Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos has pushed Amazon into hardware as he strives to tie consumers to the company’s ecosystem of services and products. Earlier this week, Amazon unveiled a $99 TV box for watching digitally delivered shows and movies and for playing video games called Fire TV. The world’s largest online retailer also makes tablet computers, e-readers and is testing package-delivering drones.
Mary Osako, a spokeswoman for Amazon, didn’t return a call for comment.
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