“Tell me a joke, Alexa!”

11. May 2017, Editorial

Amazon Echo and Dash - a testimonial


click of a button
digital assistant
POS in your own home


© Zapp2Photo


© Portal gda

The Amazon Echo voice-controlled speaker unit, which uses the Alexa Voice Service, has been available on the Austrian market for a while now. But how exactly does this intelligent speaker work and what makes the attractive electronic device so special that it’s causing a shift in retail? We also took a close look at Amazon Dash – the supermarket at the push of a button – and report on it here.

Alexa is out of the bottle

Two years after being introduced in the USA, Amazon’s smart home speaker Echo is now coming to Austria. Modifying it for the German language and culture apparently took longer than expected. The Bluetooth speaker Amazon Echo is mostly voice-activated. Echo relies on Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa to answer all sorts of questions. This kind of voice recognition has similarities with Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana. Echo is placed somewhere in a room, the box connected via WLAN, and, voilà! The user can have brilliant conversations with Alexa, play music requests, turn the lights on or off, or search for the cheapest flights to a holiday destination. Voice controlled devices have long since ceased being a thing of science fiction films.

Buying with the click of a button

Amazon Dash came onto the market in 2015. The Amazon Dash Button is a Wi-Fi connected device that allows favourite products to be reordered with the click of a button through Amazon Echo or by using the Amazon app on a smartphone. The little button can be affixed in the home wherever the product is kept. When a product runs short, simply press the button and a new order is forwarded through Echo to Amazon and delivered in next to no time. Unfortunately, the Dash Button is so far only available for Amazon Prime members .

POS in your own home

Easy shopping is the whole purpose of the Dash Buttons. However, each Dash Button can only buy a certain product: namely the one behind the logo on the front of the button. How many or which version of the product should be ordered is configured using an app. In other words, what kind of razor blades in which size of pack should be bought. Once that’s done, the button simply needs to be pressed and the order is sent to Amazon over the internet. It’s very practical and incredibly easy. But whether it’s a good idea or even clever to purchase in this way is another question. For one thing, you can become tied to a brand or product and exclude other alternatives. For another, you stop comparing prices and always pay the price set by Amazon. Easy living, in other words, comes with a small loss of power.

Convenience shopping with some limitations

So far, Amazon Dash has 35 brands on offer within the German-speaking region. In the USA, where the system was introduced a year and a half ago, there are now over 100 brands with the Dash Button. The selection of products is therefore clearly limited. What is certain, however, is that buy-by-click is extremely time-efficient. Whether shopping in this way is fun is probably something that everyone will need to decide for themselves. But one thing is already clear: Shopping lists are officially a relic of the past once you have Dash .

Similar Articles

CITY23 -

The new soundtrack for Vienna

Urban, young and at least one song ahead of its time.


“Hillary Clinton and I have both had better things to do than take selfies together.”


Hurray, it`s Black Friday

Why Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other sales make the tills ring!


Kopfhöhrer hängen an einer Wand

Musical cash points

The right music sells more.