Review: Waitrose Hiku

A Hiku scanning device

I love gadgets about the same amount as I love food, so this one is right up my street! It’s called a Hiku and is a new device that Waitrose is trialling in the UK at the moment. I was lucky enough to be one of the first few people in the country to put one through its paces and it’s fair to say that my mind has been blown!

The Hiku is being trialled as part of Waitrose Hot Ideas, a new programme that seeks to develop technology to improve customer experience and, if this device is anything to go by, will be well worth keeping an eye on.

Setting up the Hiku is a breeze. You connect it to your home WiFi, download the app to your phone or tablet and register it on a Waitrose online grocery shopping account. You can then scan the barcodes of items you’re running out of to add them to your shopping list, or use the built-in microphone to record the names of products if you don’t already have them in your cupboard.

If you’re not quite sure of which individual item you want, you can give a generic name and browse the options available via your Waitrose account. Once you’ve finished creating your list, you can stick the Hiku to the fridge via a magnet. To charge it, you simply plug it into your laptop via a micro USB that comes with it in the box.

A Hiku device being used to scan the barcode of a product.

Having seen a couple of demonstration videos, I was keen to give the Hiku a go for myself to see whether it was as good as it looks. In short, the answer is yes. It’s intuitive and fast to use and delivers accurate results, populating your shopping list with ease. We managed to get our shop done in about 20 minutes, which is a fair bit quicker than any of the other online grocery services we’ve used. I’m sure this is because it enabled us to add things immediately rather than via a few clicks. I’m also confident that it could save even more time once we’ve used it again.

It’s a really useful device and is genuinely fun to use. Even Xander – who is still only two years old – can use it. Once he stopped yelling “BANANAS!” at the top of his voice and was persuaded to speak instead, it picked up what he was saying and added it to the shopping list.

hiku2

I’m genuinely disappointed that I have to give the Hiku back now I’ve written this review. It’s a fantastic device that has definitely made ordering the shopping easier and feel like much less of a chore. I liked it so much, in fact, that I made a video review to show it in action as well…

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