I only blog about two things these days, my lousy golf game and Kate. But today, I make an exception for Amazon Dash. This little device is so awesome! Here's the official promo video:
Frankly, when Amazon Fresh debut in San Francisco I wasn't too interested or excited (poor investment in Webvan still leaves sour taste for online grocery delivery). But then I found out you can place an order Sunday 9pm for Monday 7am delivery! The next-morning turnaround time hooked me in and I've been a regular customer since February, averaging one delivery a week.
As a regular customer I was invited to try out the Dash. Got the invite code last week and within a couple of days my Dash shipped. Yesterday it arrived.
The device comes with two AA batteries that are housed in the black, rubbery half. The loop is flexible. The other half is the bar code scanner and microphone, covered in smooth white plastic. Overall the unit is easy to handle and use. I particularly like the feel of the rubber (good grip).
While the Dash does make shopping simple, initial setup was not so simple. Amazon's Kindle and Fire TV are so simple to setup but the Dash gave me all kinds of problems. There's no real instructions, just instructions telling you to set up the device through the Amazon Fresh app. Setup basically involves connecting the Dash to your WiFi network. I tried first on my Android LG G2 phone but kept getting communication failed errors. Same errors using an iPad Air. The setup on the iPad (and I'm assuming iPhone) is very cumbersome. You have to exit the Amazon Fresh app to go into system settings to change WiFi networks, then come back to the Amazon Fresh app to continue. After probably 30-45 minutes of trying, retrying and trying again the setup finally completed. Before the Dash goes mainstream I think Amazon needs to bullet-proof, idiot-proof the setup.
Time to start scanning and voice recording! Scanning is super easy, as is the voice recording. Your items appear almost instantaneously in the Fresh app. The voice recognition works great, able to understand "lysol disinfecting wipes".
Ironically, it wasn't able to recognize the barcode of some blueberries I recently purchased. The barcode database must be global and might not recognize local products, even though the local warehouse obviously knows about them.
When you click into an item you see options for purchase, including whether you've bought the item before.
For voice recorded items the app does a simple search. Amazon's personalization still needs much work, they should know that I'm not looking for root beer but a good IPA.
For some items like these Callaway golf balls I have the option of buying on Amazon directly.
Clicking on the Amazon icon opens up amazon.com in your browser.
I think Amazon Dash has big potentials once the setup is bullet-proof. Extremely handy as a shopping, grocery list. I might just take Dash to Safeway and Trader Joe's to scan in items for Amazon Fresh to deliver. Why lug around cases of cocunut water when I can just have it delivery to my front door next morning!