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Amazon showcases handheld scanner for online shopping

10 April 2014 - 09:07 by Mike Price

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Amazon showcases handheld scanner for online shopping

Not content with just launching one gadget this month, Amazon has revealed yet another device aimed at consumers in the form of Dash. And while it may mostly be relevant to its US customers, there could be major implications for people who love safe shopping online in the UK.

Amazon Dash is basically a portable barcode scanner which can be used to quickly add items to an online order with the e-commerce giant.

The main purpose is to synchronise with the Amazon Fresh service, which is a grocery delivery platform that is currently only available in a select number of American cities. But with half a million items offered through Fresh, including food and non-perishable goods, the scope for the service is significant.

With the Dash in hand you can go through your fridge and scan any items which are running out and need to be replaced, instantly adding them to your list so that they can be delivered via safe shopping online.

The Dash is fully wireless and can synchronise with a smartphone or PC via a home Wi-Fi connection for ease of use.

At the moment, Amazon Dash is being handed out to a small group of customers free of charge, so that it can be tested to see how well it works.

And for customers in the UK who are champing at the bit to get a slice of the action, the good news is that Amazon?s British VP said that an international rollout is in the works, according to Stuff.

Amazon has the financial clout to pursue innovations like Dash, so it will be interesting to see whether its rivals follow suit. Of course, you could argue that smartphones already have barcode scanning capabilities, so creating a separate device to achieve this is superfluous, but clearly Amazon thinks it is necessary.