Amazon Dash can track your trash to keep your kitchen stocked
With the ability to have items dropped at your door through a few clicks of a button, online shopping has made housekeeping easier than ever before. But you know what's more convenient than doing your shopping online? Having smart devices do that shopping for you. Amazon today announced that its Dash Replenishment Program, through which connected appliances will automatically order physical goods when supplies are low, has added a new set of devices, including Nestlé's baby food dispenser and a trash-tracker that monitors your garbage can's incoming traffic.
Launched back in January of this year, Amazon's Dash Replenishment program builds on the company's Dash buttons, which are basically branded, one-touch ordering services for a user-defined shopping item. These can be programmed through the app or website to order more of a specific product when pressed, be it Tide laundry detergent or Bounty paper towels.
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Still sounds like too much effort? Well, the Dash Replenishment program is designed to take the automation even further by having devices monitor their own supplies and have more stock arrive at the door just in time for a refill. The service launched with a bunch of Brother printers, a GE washer and a blood-glucose monitor, and its list of compatible devices now includes products from dozens of manufacturers including Whirpool, Samsung, Bosch and Purell.
The idea behind this service is to erase the hassle of keeping household items stocked – after all, it can be easy to forget to grab pet food and toothpaste when you're at the store. Some startups are coming at this problem from a similar angle, and while they are yet to make it to market, two of them have gone right ahead and joined forces with the Amazon to integrate the Dash auto-replenishing functionality.
One is WePlenish, which focuses on pantry goods and pet food, along with coffee and tea. It stores these goods and learns users' consumption habits over time. With Dash Replenishment, it will now automatically order fresh pet food when supplies are running low.
The other is GeniCan, which is a connected device that mounts on the user's garbage can and scans barcodes of items as they are thrown out, or failing that, allows users to add them through a microphone and voice recognition. With a Wi-Fi connection, GeniCan can add scanned items to a user's shopping list, and now with Dash Replenishment integration, can re-order those items automatically.
Other device-makers to join the program today are Honeywell, whose connected thermostats can now order replacement air filters and Nestle, whose Wi-Fi-enabled BabyNes machine can now order replacement baby formula capsules. Amazon also announced a couple of new devices from existing Dash Replenishment members. Available from next month, the Whirlpool Smart Dishwasher will orders its own detergent and PUR's Faucet Filtration System, available from today, will order its own replacement water filters.