Amazon has announced the Dash Smart Shelf, a Wi-Fi-connected smart scale that connects to Amazon’s shopping services and can automatically reorder supplies when they run low.
It’s designed for small businesses to put in their supply rooms, and it can sense the weight of things like pens or printer paper that are placed on top of it. When those items run out, customers can either set the scale to automatically reorder the item in question or simply send a notification to whoever manages the company’s supplies to manually place an order instead. (Although Amazon also says that the Dash Smart Shelf is designed to avoid accidental automatic reorders if items are just temporarily removed.)
To sweeten the deal, Amazon is offering businesses using the Dash Smart Shelf discounts of “up to 15 percent” on certain items, like Keurig and Folgers coffee, Nestle Coffee-Mate, Kind snack bars, Bic pens, 3M Post-it Notes and Scotch tape, and more.
Setting up the scale is fairly simple: either plug the scale into the wall or add four AAA batteries, connect it to Wi-Fi through the Amazon, and then use either your Amazon Business account or the Amazon app to specify which item you’ll be using with the shelf. The Dash Smart Shelf is roughly one inch tall, and it comes in three sizes: small (7 x 7 inches), medium (12 x 10 inches), and large (18 x 13 inches).
Amazon canceled its original Dash buttons — which were consumer buttons that allowed customers to simply reorder products — earlier this year, although it still offers its Dash Replenishment Service directly on some devices, like printers. It seems like the company has decided that small businesses are more apt places for it to try to get its automatic reordering service to work better.
Amazon is testing the Dash Smart Shelf with selected partners starting this month. It’ll be available to Amazon Business customers with a registered US business license starting next year. No consumer plans have been announced yet.