The FireTV apparently isn't the only piece of hardware Amazon is announcing this week. The company recently put up a page for "Amazon Dash," a shopping accessory that it's offering for free to a limited number of AmazonFresh users. Dash, a roughly 6-inch-long plastic stick, includes a laser scanner and a microphone for voice search, either of which will let you add items to a shopping list. It connects via Wi-Fi to computers or mobile phones, from which you can actually view the list and order the items. Amazon is currently accepting applications from potential Dash testers, who presumably will need to be in one of the three AmazonFresh markets: southern California, San Francisco, or Seattle.
Amazon has long let you scan barcodes with its smartphone app, but Dash more closely resembles the Hiku scanning accessory that appeared on Kickstarter in 2012 — save for the fact that it syncs with Amazon instead of third-party services and has a very different shell, it behaves pretty much exactly like Hiku. It doesn't offer anything you couldn't theoretically do on a smartphone, but it provides a way to do it with one button press, and it's designed to be a bit more hardy than the average iPhone or Nexus device. It's meant to be left around the house, and the promotional video's subtext indicates that Amazon is hoping your children really like it. In other words, there's now an AmazonFresh equivalent of the lower cereal shelves in a grocery store.