One of the spiciest tech wars going on right now is on the production of AI-powered virtual assistants. Google, Apple and Amazon are the current top competitors; however, it seems Amazon may have recently come up with an X-factor: Introducing the Dash Wand with built in AI assistant Alexa.
It is quite simply a very intelligent bar code scanner that, in addition to the typical features present in other virtual assistants, can also do things like adding goods to your Amazon shopping cart. If there is an empty bottle of margarita sauce you’d like filled up, have the Dash Wand scan it and expect a new one to be delivered to your front door in a few hours. First released in 2014, Amazon has recently upgraded the Dash Wand so that it now comes with its very own built in AI assistant, Alexa.
Up until now, virtual assistants have not exactly come cheap. For instance, Amazon’s Echo sells for $139.99, Google Home at $129 and Apple’s newest homePod speaker will be released later in the year at a whopping $349. The most economical choice so far has been the Echo Dot at just $49.99. But the Dash Wand tops it with less than half the price at just $20 (UK price is yet to be announced).On top of that, the Dash Wand also comes with $20 Amazon credit making it virtually free. A severe blow dealt to the competition there.
While in the past, virtual assistants may have been limited to operate only from devices like smartphones and smart speakers, in recent times they have managed to find their way into every home device on the market. Altogether, we’re not too far away from the mainstream marketing of smart homes. This is exactly the kind of environment that Amazon has in mind for the Dash Wand.
First to the finish is all important
While we are still very much in the early stages of AI virtual assistants with limited capabilities and the lack of a mainstream market, increased consumer usage in the near future will be critical. For instance, you may begin with the Dash Wand which is basically free, then move on to the echo, and onward to other household devices – fridges, ovens, door, lamps, lightbulbs…
Unlike smartphones which tend to be switched every few years, customers of virtual assistants are likely to stick with the same one more permanently. It simply isn’t practical to work with Alexa in the bedroom and readjusting to a Google assistant in the dining room. So with idea of a single virtual assistant to help make your life more efficient and systematic, it also fosters a greater loyalty toward your choice of a tech service provider.
The Dash Wand is Amazon’s power play in the battle with rival companies Google and Apple to come up with the ideal virtual assistant with advanced capabilities and a budget friendly cost… or in this case, essentially no cost at all. At just 20 bucks it sets the company up nicely for ruling this particular market for the years coming forward.