Just a couple months ago, Amazon introduced a new product called Dash that allowed users to add goods to their virtual shopping carts by simply scanning a barcode or saying the name of the item they need into a microphone. The idea is that, with a simpler way to build grocery lists and order items online, users would be less likely to run out of common household items.
It’s a cool idea, for sure, but in order to get one, you currently have to meet a number of different prerequisites. First, you need to live in an area where Amazon’s Prime Fresh delivery service operates, and second, you also have to be invited to participate the Dash private beta trial. In other words, it’s still somewhat exclusive at this point.
But not to worry — if you want in on the action, but don’t happen to meet Amazon’s strict criteria, you’re not out in the dark. There’s actually similar product, called Hiku, that does all the same tricks, and it’s already on the market.
The most obvious difference between the two is Hiku’s design. Whereas Dash looks something like an oversized keyring, Hiku is more of a silver and white hockey puck. It’s designed to attach itself magnetically to your fridge, thereby making it more convenient to store and much less likely to get lost in a drawer or cupboard.
Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, is the device’s functionality. Unlike Dash, which puts your order into a virtual shopping cart on Amazon Prime Fresh, Hiku simply builds a grocery list and syncs it to the cloud. This way, you can easily access your shopping list next time you’re at the store via the accompanying Hiku app.
At this point you can’t currently order stuff online with Hiku, but the device’s creators are reportedly in discussions with various retailers to add a level of automation to the device that goes beyond simple list-making. In addition to allowing you to add items to a shopping cart, the Hiku team is currently working with certain undisclosed e-commerce stores to bring user the option of having Hiku shop for them.
This functionaility is expected to roll out sometime later this year, but until then, you can find out more here.