What it's like to use Amazon's ambitious new device invented to take over online grocery shopping

Matt Johnston

Amazon has a new plan to revolutionize the way we all grocery shop. And it's all about this little device, meant to replace pretty much everything you would do in a physical store.

It's called "Amazon Dash." My wife and I have been using Amazon's grocery service for a few months now and generally we are fans. Fresh Direct doesn't seem to have as good of a selection, at least in our area, and Amazon is just the slightest bit more convenient (and a little cheaper too).

During our last order, the company offered to let us use the Amazon Dash program for free. It's free for those invited right now.

The idea behind Dash is that you use the device to do all your ordering anywhere in your house, and then send it over to the Amazon Fresh app for easy ordering.

It's really ambitious, and not at all perfect.

Here it is: Amazon Dash. It comes in this nifty little black box with a comprehensive guide.

Open it up, and this is what you get. The Dash device is a wand type thing with a couple buttons. Oh and thank you, Amazon, for including AA batteries.

First things first: take the thing apart and put in the batteries.

After that you have to head to the App Store and get the AmazonFresh app.

Then go into the app and pair your Dash with your phone.

It's a little annoying, but not too awful. You press both buttons to get it into setup mode, then place it next to your phone to transfer Wi Fi information to the device.

Once that process is all done it's time to get shopping! There are a few different ways this works ...

First, you can add an item by holding down the button and speaking into the device. It then goes into your cart.

I tested this a lot with mixed results. Most of the time, when you speak an order, it doesn't go directly into the cart ...

It goes into this little Dash screen so you can confirm. As you can see here, speaking "two dozen eggs," yielded an order of Aunt Jemima Egg Sausage and Biscuit. I'll pass. But you CAN swipe left on one of these items to get other similar selections , which sometimes gets you what you really want.

The other way to use Dash is as a scanner. The book Amazon gives you has a ton of bar codes in it for most of the items you could want.

On the end of the stick is a scanner, just like you'd find at the register. Find what you want, scan it, and it goes into your shopping cart on the app. It's very easy.

Perhaps even easier — and more helpful — is this awesome feature. You can scan the bar codes of groceries you already have in your house and it will add them to the cart or allow you to confirm and tweak them in the Dash screen.

This is what it looks like when items have made it from the device to your app from different input sources.

After that you're on your way. You can view your cart on any device, and easily check out and get these things sent to you.

A day or two later, everything arrives on your doorstep.

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