Amazon’s growing grocery delivery service, AmazonFresh, isn’t intended to level the grocery store business. Rather it’s part of a more ambitious goal to make same-day delivery real.
Part of that will undoubtedly involve making the checkout process even more frictionless. One way to do that is to diminish the need to navigate and click around on a computer. Over the weekend, Amazon revealed the AmazonDash, a plastic device that looks like a stripped-down Nintendo Wii controller. Basically Dash is a barcode scanner that you can use on your real-world products–toilet paper, an empty milk carton, etc.–to add those items to your AmazonFresh queue. Furthermore, as the video above saccharinely illustrates, you’ll be able to order using voice commands.
In its current state, it’s easy to dismiss Dash as another pointless add-on. And it is, to an extent. But like Amazon Flow–the app that allows you to take a photo of a product to order it–the general idea, at least when it works, is to eliminate as many steps as possible between an Amazon shopper and their real-world purchase. Both technologies, in theory, accomplish that. It isn’t a stretch to imagine Dash’s technology crammed into a smartphone, Kindles, or whatever new hardware Amazon is covertly hatching.