If your printer is getting low on ink, Amazon wants to know. Actually, it already could know and have a new supply at your door before you even realize the ink was low.
The company says its new Dash Replenishment Service (DRS) can detect low supplies in your office of smart, connected devices — including your printer — and take care of the reorder and shipping.
The DRS initiative is basically a solution that monitors a product to see if it needs more supplies. If it does, the monitoring device will automatically order it when it is about to run out.
The application of this technology is going to change the way consumers and businesses restock dwindling supplies. For small businesses with limited manpower, having an automated monitoring technology to see when supplies are running low will save money and the inconvenience of making a purchase after the fact.
One of the companies that is part of the launch of Amazon’s program is Brother Printers.
The company’s connected printers are able to measure the ink and toner levels, and if they are low, place an order automatically via Amazon. The inconvenience of running out of ink and toner is something everyone has experienced, and this is one solution that can solve this particular issue.
A confirmation email is sent to device owners. This gives customers a chance to cancel an order after it’s been placed.
Don Cummins, Brother’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, says, “This collaboration combines our focus on providing high-quality Brother Supplies with Amazon’s reputation for reliable shipping and exceptional service. Brother is committed to developing and supporting innovative services for our customers.”
This service is a natural extension of Amazon’s Dash Button, a WiFi-enabled device created for different products that places an order when you push the button. However, DRS doesn’t need any physical interaction from anyone, because it is integrated into the hardware.
According to Amazon, device manufacturers can start including DRS with 10 lines of code using simple HTML containers and REST API calls.
Once it is integrated into the hardware, the maker of the device can place the order when supplies are running low on behalf of the customer. The ordering process from the machine doesn’t manage addresses, payment instruments, or billing systems. This ensures sensitive information is not stored on the device in the event of hacking.
Besides Brother, Samsung also has a printer, with GE providing a washing machine to the program. Other participants include Brita, Oster, Whirlpool, and more. While the number of manufacturers is low at the moment, adoption is expected to increase as more consumers and businesses see the benefits of using connected devices.
Supply management is one aspect of a small business that is labor intensive. With the Internet of Things (IoT,) more devices will be connected to simplify the way we monitor and maintain our devices. Not having to count what is in the supply room or check the level of ink in a printer means that employees can be doing something more productive.