Grocery Shopping Made Easy

May 30, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. handheld /ˈhændˌhɛld/ (adj.) – referring to something that can be held in the hand
Example: He used a handheld computer during his presentation.

2. barcode /ˈbɑrˌkoʊd/ (n.) – an encoded stamp of black lines that contains purchasing details of a product
Example: The cashier scanned the barcode to know the product’s price.

3. restock /riˈstɒk/ (v.) – to acquire or buy replacements for something that has run out
Example: My mother needed to restock the milk for tomorrow’s breakfast.

4. subsidiary /səbˈsɪdˌɛr (n.) – a company that is owned by another company
Example: The parent company supports its subsidiaries.

5. nifty /ˈnɪf (adj.) – referring to an object that looks stylish and is very useful at the same time
Example: The latest mobile phones look so nifty.


Read the text below.
In an effort to make online grocery shopping faster and easier, Amazon has released a handheld gadget that lets customers buy items with just one press.

Amazon launched a product called Dash, which customers can use to buy grocery items. By simply scanning the barcode or saying the name of a product, the device automatically includes the product in the customer’s shopping list. With the device, customers can instantly restock, and expect the items to be delivered to their homes the following day.

Shaped like a remote control, Dash is equipped with a barcode scanner and a microphone. Through its built-in Wi-Fi, Dash automatically connects to a laptop or a smartphone. The scanned products are instantly sent to AmazonFresh – a subsidiary of that offers home delivery of grocery items.

For items without barcodes, users can simply use the microphone and say the name of the item. This is convenient when one wants to order products such as fruits and vegetables that are already running low.

Dash can only identify products that are available in the AmazonFresh website. However, users can still try to scan non-AmazonFresh items and the website will provide a list of similar products that it can provide.

Dash is the latest among Amazon’s nifty creations. Since the product is still in its trial period, the company offers it for free. However, the device is currently only available in certain areas in the United States like Southern California, San Francisco, and some parts of Seattle.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If given the chance, would you use Dash? Why or why not?
·         What kinds of customers do you think can best benefit from using this device?

Discussion B

·         Would you prefer online shopping over in-store shopping? Explain.
·         How does technology help us do tasks with lesser effort?


May 30, 2014