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Amazon’s Alexa-Enabled Wand Is More Echo Dot, Less Harry Potter

Designed to make ordering groceries and quick cooking-related Google searches more convenient.

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Today, Amazon announced the Dash Wand, which is basically a souped-up and Alexa-enabled Dash Button. Available exclusively to Prime members, the handheld device lets users add groceries to their shopping lists by telling Alexa or by scanning the specific grocery item’s barcode. The Dash Wand isn’t only designed to make grocery restocking easy, however; it’s also another way for Amazon to get Alexa into your home.

With the Dash Wand, Prime members can ask Alexa simple questions: it can convert measurements, look up recipes and find nearby restaurants. (It’s not designed as a speaker, so don’t expect it to play Spotify.) Amazon is making the Dash Wand available to all Prime members for $20, but it will put the $20 right back in their account — so, yes, it’s essentially free. With the purchase, Prime members will also receive a free three-month trial to AmazonFresh, Amazon’s fast grocery delivery service.

Frankly, this is a great deal: the Dash Wand essentially costs nothing and gets you three months of complimentary grocery delivery. However, we’re not really sure who needs it. Aside from barcode scanning, everything the Dash Wand can do can be done by an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot (which a lot of Prime members probably have). You can even do a lot of these things from your smartphone.

True, the wand is another way for Amazon to get Alexa into the home. If you’re a Prime member who doesn’t own a smart speaker yet, this is an even cheaper way to become besties with Alexa. (The Echo Dot costs $40.) For many Prime members, however, the Dash Wand will probably end up being an unused fridge magnet (it’s magnetic). It might be worth it for the free AmazonFresh trial, though.

The Amazon Dash Wand is available now for all Prime members.

Buy Now: $20

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