Amazon waves magic wand again with new Dash tool

US-based eCommerce company Amazon has led the way in online retail in a number of different ways over the last decade, and the business is once again showing innovation with the launch of Amazon Dash.

Announced on Friday, Amazon Dash is a wand-like consumer device that shoppers can use to scan products in the home and link them directly to their AmazonFresh account. Billed by the e-tailer as "the new way to shop from home", Dash connects to a consumer's personal Wi-Fi and creates a practical way for people to compose their shopping lists.

A video promoting the new device shows how shoppers can scan a product such as breakfast cereal, once it has run out, and then instantly order the items on a desktop or mobile device for next-day delivery.

The Dash also has voice-enabled technology, meaning customers can add products into their AmazonFresh account just by saying the name into the device's microphone.

AmazonFresh is only available in southern California, the San Francisco area and Seattle in the US, so Dash is currently only accessible in these territories. The initial trial phase is limited to a select few, and is by invite-only at present.

Dash is the latest in a long line of innovations from Amazon, with the company recently launching Flow, which allows consumers to order products by scanning pictures with their smartphones.

Using image recognition technology, a consumer can use the Flow mobile app to scan an item of their choice to generate a list of similar products that are held on the Amazon database. It offers a way of checking prices and also facilitates instant purchase decisions for mobile shoppers.