For some people (me), remembering everything needed at the grocery store is a bigger chore than shopping itself. Somewhere between the bananas and the Worcestershire sauce, the laundry detergent or pancake batter gets forgotten. Remember the Milk was invented for that reason, but it still involves pulling out your phone, unlocking it, opening an app, and typing. You could ask Siri to make you a shopping list, but then your significant other can’t add jalapenos or whatever.
Amazon wants you to use its barcode scanner or buttons, but the scanner-linked AmazonFresh is only available in certain areas and costs $299 a year. It has some competition in Hiku, which was introduced last year. It combines a barcode scanner with voice-recognition in a hockey puck-like package. But there’s some new functionality beneath the white-and-silver surface.
More microphones and improved audio isolation make the new version of Hiku better at understanding what you want added to the list. When you hit the silver button to record or scan, it doesn’t have to connect to Wi-Fi first, so it should be faster. Once the splash-resistant devices knows what you want, it adds it to the shareable list in the app and arranges items by grocery aisle. From there, you can either take it to the store or buy the items from Peapod or Walmart.
The magnetic device can live on your fridge, so everyone in your household has access (though as the promotional video points out, children will be apt to add cookies at every available chance). The relaunched device costs $79 but is discounted to $49 through the end of the year. Yes, Amazon Dash buttons are $5, but Hiku gives you more options and you don’t need more than one to add toilet paper, laundry detergent, and granola bars to your list. It’s not as automated, but it also gives you more flexibility.