Amazon activates Dash Replenishment Service on select gadgets

Smart washers from GE are now using dispenser technology to automatically reorder detergent when the owner is about to run out of their preferred brand -- zero human effort required.

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Amazon on Tuesday revealed that the first batch of Dash-powered devices have gone live.

Now, a smart washing machine from General Electric, select Brother printers and glucose-monitors from Gmate Smart are actively running Amazon's Dash Replenishment Service (DRS).

Previously, consumers could purchase some DRS-compatible devices, but couldn't yet take advantage of the feature.

Amazon first introduced the Dash Button last April as a one-click buying system designed to facilitate the effortless reordering of commonly used household products.

The idea was that consumers could place the tiny, logo-laden plastic sticks around their home, connect them to WiFi, and simply push a button when they run low on a particular item. Amazon, of course, receives the order and fulfills it.

But the program took on a more serious Internet of Things tone last October, when Amazon significantly widened the ecosystem of hardware partners participating in DRS. At the time, Samsung, General Electric, Oster and a host of others signed up to build devices and appliances that can reorder products without any help at all.

For instance, a connected device would measure supply usage using sensors or scales and then order consumables when needed. Or take GE: the appliance maker has programmed its washers to utilize "smart dispense technology" that automatically reorders detergent when the owner is about to run out of their preferred brand, with zero human effort required.

Other gadgets just signing up for DRS include the Whirlpool Smart Dishwasher and a touchless soap dispenser from hand sanitizer brand Purell.

"It's exciting to make Dash Replenishment a reality," Daniel Rausch, director of Amazon Devices, said in a statement. "Customers can start taking advantage of the service today, and we will continue to launch and add new devices to the program this year."

The API for Amazon's Dash Replenishment Service also came out of private beta today, which Amazon says gives everyone from big corporations to small businesses and hobbyists the ability to make their devices DRS-compatible.

Looking at the bigger picture, it's clear that both the Dash Buttons and the DRS (and even Amazon's smart speaker system Echo, for that matter) are part of Amazon's master plan to tie e-commerce with smart home technology and the Internet of Things. It's a slow process for sure, but Amazon's intentions are clear: The company wants to own your wallet, and it plans to get deeper and deeper into the home to help make that happen.

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