Amazon’s Dash Wand has been around for a few years, allowing you to scan barcodes of products around your home to re-order them from Amazon. But the company’s latest version goes a whole lot further.

That’s because in addition to placing items in your cart, you can actually place an order without ever going to a computer or mobile app. Oh, and the new Amazon Dash Wand has the Alexa voice service built in, so you can interact with it by voice and use it for a whole lot more than just shopping.

It’s also basically free for Amazon Prime members.

That’s because Amazon sells the Dash Wand for $20, but after you register the device, Amazon will give you $20 off your next order.

So if you only plan to use the Dash Wand for its Alexa assistant features and don’t ever plan to buy anything from Amazon ever again, I suppose the real price is $20.

The $20 credit can also only be used on items sold by Amazon.com or Amazon Digital Services, and not by third-party vendors, even if they’re eligible for Prime shipping.

It’s also worth noting that this is a limited-time promotion, and any credit added to your account expires June 18th, 2018.

But even once you get past all the restrictions, this is basically the cheapest Alexa-enabled device you can get your hands on at the moment. Sure, it’s designed to encourage you to shop at Amazon instead of a local store when it comes time to re-order grocery items or household products. But in addition to scanning barcodes or saying product names to purchase them, you can use the new Dash Wand for just about anything else many of the other things you’d use Alexa for on a tablet or speaker.

You can get answers to questions, get recipes, or access third-party Alexa skills (one example on the Dash Wand website is “ask Pizza Hut to place an order). One thing you probably aren’t going to want to do on this handheld device is listen to music.

Update: Actually you can’t. The Dash Wand won’t play music or set timers or alarms.

Keep in mind, this is a handheld, battery-powered device that you activate by pressing a button. It doesn’t have an always-listening microphone, which may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you expect from a voice-activated device these days.

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6 replies on “Amazon Dash Wand is basically a free Alexa voice assistant (for Amazon Prime members)”

    1. From what I read, it does at least two things. Also, I haven’t heard of an Amazon app that allows you to scan barcodes and make orders.

      1. > Also, I haven’t heard of an Amazon app that allows you to scan barcodes and make orders.

        It’s been a part of the Amazon app since the app was first made, it’s the camera icon right in between the search bar and the mic icon (which is actually a full Alexa assistant, not just voice search).

  1. Add a touch enabled laser projector and a wireless charging dock and it gets interesting.

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