ONLINE RETAILER Amazon is sending out a magic wand that some of its preferred customers can use to automatically order things.
The Amazon wand, or Dash, which is its actual name, would not look out of place in a robot Harry Potter's palm, and has the minimalist modern look that we have come to associate with gadgets since Jony Ive made his presence felt at Apple.
Black and white and designed to be pointed, it has a couple of buttons and a simple aim. That aim is to easily connect people with things at the Amazon store that they can buy.
The Dash is aimed at Fresh customers in the US and, while you can apply for one, the experience is available by invitation only.
If you are lucky enough to live in one of three areas in the US, buy your fresh groceries from Amazon, have a Fresh account, a need for regular grocery items and lack any desire to go outside, then Dash might be for you.
Fresh is only available in limited areas, and it lets punters in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Seattle area stay on top of their everyday essentials.
Adding Dash to Fresh means that users will never have to impotently shout that they have run out of milk. Instead they will be able to speak into the wand's microphone and order some milk. The wand can also be pointed at items and used to scan them into an order book. Amazon said that Dash connects to WiFi, which connects to Fresh, and that it automatically orders your fresh eggs and dairy needs when you tell it to do so.
"Every member of the family can use Dash to easily add items to your Amazonfresh shopping list. Keep it on your kitchen counter or hang it on the refrigerator," said Amazon on its entice and invite page.
"Did your kids just eat the last of the cereal? Conveniently refill and restock your home's everyday essentials, and have fun doing it... Dash is made to withstand busy households, so go ahead and grab it with flour on your hands to order more supplies."
Amazon has not coughed on UK release details. We imagine that it will go for a wider US rollout before wagging its wand at Blighty. µ
Ira Rothken steps up to the piracy plate, again
Trusted Platform Module 2.0 support required for PCs, smartphones and tablets
'One of the most successful products in history,' boasts Tim Cook
People are keeping busy