Amazon Dash takes online shopping away from the computer

Amazon launches Amazon Dash, a device that allows users to scan their groceries in the cupboard, rather than having to search online.

Amazon is bringing online shopping into the real world with the launch of Amazon Dash — a device that allows users to scan their groceries in the cupboard, rather than having to search for them online.

The Amazon Dash features a barcode scanner for scanning groceries at home.(Credit: Amazon)

About the size of a TV remote, the Amazon Dash can be used to scan product barcodes to automatically add them to an online shopping list, and it includes a microphone enabling voice search to find common items.

And it's not just about fresh food — the Dash can also scan other items including books, consumer electronics and beauty products, with a database of more than 500,000 items available to purchase.

The Dash connects to the internet using a home's Wi-Fi network, so once items are on the shopping list they can be reviewed online (or on a dedicated smartphone app) before making the final purchase. There's free delivery on orders over $35, and if the order is placed by 10am, Amazon promises that its customers will "have it by dinner".

The Dash works in conjunction with the Amazon Fresh online produce and grocery delivery service, which is only available in selected parts of the United States. The Dash remote itself is also currently available by invitation only.

It's another big move out of the world of pure online shopping for Amazon — the company also recently launched Amazon Fire TV in the United States, which offers video streaming from a number of content providers, including Hulu, ESPN and Netflix.

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