Amazon has announced that they’re ending support for their Dash Wand barcode scanner in a month on July 21st, 2020. All indication is that both generations of the Dash Wand will completely stop functioning because Amazon is directing customers to their Device Recycling program in an email sent out this morning.
The Dash Wand was an interesting device that predated Alexa as a grocery shopping helper you kept in the kitchen. The idea was that you could dictate items that you want ed to add to your shopping list or scan them with the built-in barcode if you had the item/container. Amazon quietly released the 2nd-gen version in 2016 with minimal changes over the first version, but it really became interesting when they replaced the simple dictation capabilities with full Alexa support a year later.
At a retail price of $49.99, purchasing the Dash Wand made little sense over the equally priced Echo Dot, but it seems like nobody ever bought it for full price. Amazon gave Dash Wands away for free to Amazon Fresh subscribers, back when Amazon Fresh wasn’t included with Prime membership. Later, Amazon offered Prime members a $20 credit for purchasing and setting up a Dash Wand. With the Dash Wand often on sale for less than $20, purchasing it and taking advantage of the credit actually made the buyer some money, which is how I suspect most buyers came to own the device.
The Dash Wand was unique in that it was a portable battery-powered Alexa device you could carry around the house to belt out commands in places you didn’t have a permanent smart speaker. While that wasn’t its intended functionality, since it was meant to be a shopping companion, it was definitely handy back when having access to Alexa in every room was not common.