• Dash Replenishment devices detect when supplies are needed
  • Automated restocking of printer ink gives glimpse of future

Amazon.com Inc. customers may never again run out of printer ink late Sunday night before their kids’ big school projects are due.

Select printers made by Brother Industries Ltd. and dishwashers from General Electric Co. are among the first products to be part of the Seattle-based e-commerce giant’s Dash Replenishment program. The printers and dishwashers have sensors that detect when ink and detergent are running low and automatically order more through Amazon.

The devices represent Amazon’s latest push toward speed and convenience. Online shopping saves customers a trip to the store. With “Dash Replenishment” customers don’t even have to think about household inventory.

Smart appliances help manufacturers sell their own brand supplies to customers without competing with other brands on store shelves. They also help Amazon grab a greater share of their customer’s shopping cart since delivery is automated.

Amazon introduced the Amazon Dash Button in March, which lets people order laundry detergent or baby food by pushing a button on an adhesive strip that can be mounted to a washing machine or in a kitchen cupboard for a specific product. The buttons use Wi-Fi networks to alert Amazon to deliver the item.

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