On Tuesday, Amazon unveiled first devices that can automatically shop for new supplies whenever their human users forget about it. The line includes Brother printers that can place online orders for ink on the e-commerce giant’s site and GE washers that can keep track of the remaining detergent and order more when levels are low.
Another device that uses the smart technology is a blood glucose tracker from Gmate SMART. But not all devices are compatible with the new technology called Amazon Dash Replenishment. Only some Brother Printers and GE washing machine are.
Still, some customers might have already bought compatible appliances or electronics, but they weren’t able to access the feature until Tuesday when Amazon activated the DASH Replenishment system across its platform.
Customers who own a compatible device can activate the technology through an app or the company’s site (it largely depends on how the producer configured access to the feature.)
Amazon said that printers would be able to resupply themselves starting Tuesday, while other appliances and gadgets would be ready for the new system by the end of the month. Brother printer owners who wish their devices to automatically re-order ink or toner will be able to activate the feature via the Japanese manufacturer’s website.
Freshly bought printers, on the other hand, would feature the sign-up requirement in the printer’s installation instructions.
Yet, the idea of a printer that self-replenishes is not new. Hewlett Packard and Epson have been experimenting with the idea in the last years as well. For instance, HP provides a service called Instant Ink, while its competitor sells a line of printers with refillable ink tanks.
But the Brother printers do not reorder ink and toner from the producer, but from Amazon’s site. Brother recently said that it has 45 printers that can order their own ink through the e-giant’s platform.
GE washing machines are more advanced. They can tell how much detergent to use on a single load, they can disperse the detergent automatically, and order for more whenever it reaches a critical level. Still, the machines will base their decisions on their owner’s preferences which are stored in a mobile app.
The blood glucose monitor will be connected to a smartphone and order supplies such as testing strips whenever necessary.
Though only three companies currently produce devices compatible with Amazon’s new API, the e-commerce site said that any other manufacturers who wish to implement the system in their devices should contact its team.
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