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Amazon to let home devices place online orders on their own

Technology
UNITED STATES Online retailer Amazon has developed a solution that allows any connected home device to autonomously re-order products from Amazon when supplies are running low.

The Dash Replenishment Service (DRS) can be integrated into any Internet-connected device either directly or through a proxy. The system will offer the users access to Amazon's authentication and payment systems, customer service and fulfillment service. White goods and electronics manufacturers will be able to either build a physical replenishment button into their devices to re-order products or measure consumable usage so that re-ordering is initiated automatically. Amazon had filed to patent the automated replenishment system in 2012.

The Seattle-based merchant is now beta-testing the solution, which has already been deployed by such home appliance makers as Brita, Brother and Whirlpool. The latter is set to manufacture washers and dryers that measure laundry products levels and place orders using DRS. Device makers can start using the system with as few as ten lines of code, says Amazon. “Together we'll help ensure customers always have the right laundry supplies on hand when needed," said Brett Dibkey, a vice-president, integrated business units at Whirlpool Corporation. The first devices using DRS will be available to the public this fall.

And what about those more dated home devices with no access to the online world? Amazon has also covered this problem. The tech giant introduced wireless adhesive button-like devices (see photo below) that will initially be available solely to its Prime Members. Assigned to a selected household, pantry or beauty product, once pressed, the Internet-connected Dash Buttons will send a ‘needs to be refilled’ notification to the Amazon mobile shopping app, allowing customers to easily compile shopping lists, place accurate orders, and get familiar with the new way of shopping before DRS gets fully rolled out.



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