A Self Running Home?

The self-running home? It’s here


SEATTLE – Jan. 20, 2016 – The day your house automatically orders whatever you're running low on came a step closer Tuesday, with Amazon's launch of what it calls a "replenishment" service.

A printer, a washing machine and a blood glucose monitor are the first three products that will automatically order more supplies when they're close to running out.

Beginning Tuesday, selected Brother printer models will track their toner usage and consumption patterns and then – if the user has selected the service – automatically order more from Amazon when levels dip.

"The truly magical experience is that it arrives on your doorstep just when you need it," said Daniel Rausch, director of Amazon Devices.

Brother has made 45 models compatible with the replenishment service with more to come, said Don Cummins, Brother's senior vice president for marketing.

GE this month will launch a washer that will automatically buy its own laundry detergent. The user fills a reservoir in the washer with detergent and the machine then monitors how many loads of laundry has been done, ordering more from Amazon when it's about out. Also this month, the Gmate SMART blood glucose meter will be able to automatically order test strips via Amazon. It's a device diabetics use to track their blood sugar.

A Whirlpool washer introduced this month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas also syncs to Amazon Dash replenishment. The machine is connected to the replacement service and prompts users to order more detergent when it is running low, or it orders for them.

The devices announced Tuesday are set-and-forget. Once you tell your printer it should send out for toner when it starts to run low, it keeps doing it until you tell it to stop.

"They're trying to make buying household consumables as seamless and frictionless as possible," said Sucharita Mulpuru, a senior Amazon analyst with Forrester Research.

The new replenishment devices are yet another addition to Amazon's original Dash service, which launched in March. The Dash button is a small lozenge-size device consumers can stick near commonly bought items, allowing them to order more with a single click. The button sends a wireless message to the customer's Amazon Prime account, and the item arrives within two days.

The three items are the first in what Amazon expects to be a multitude of devices that will automatically order for themselves. They include Brita water filters, pet food dispensers, pool monitors, coffee makers and soap dispensers.

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