Amazon has found a use for its discarded Dash Button tech

The Amazon Dash Button may be dead, but the thinking behind it – that tech can automatically reorder products as they’re used up – is seeing a return in the US.

The e-commerce giant has unveiled the Dash Smart Shelf. Aimed squarely at small businesses, the product is essentially a WiFi-connected smart scale where you stack your office supplies. 

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When the weight on the shelf is sufficiently depleted for it to recognise you’re running low, it will order a replacement of whatever it’s supposed to be stocking. Or if you don’t feel comfortable with your shelf ordering office supplies on your behalf, then you can have it send you a notification instead.

The shelf comes in three sizes, depending on what you intend to stack on it: 18×13”, 12×10” or 7×7”. As it needs to power both a scale and a WiFi connection, it will either need to be plugged in, or alternatively can run off four AA batteries. It’s coming soon, and there’s a page where you can register your interest ahead of time.

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For now, the Dash Smart Shelf is only for the United States, and aimed solely at businesses. But if you are an American office manager who wants to automate some of your office supply stocking, then you may find it pays for itself in the long run, as Amazon is promising discounts of up to 15% on certain products such as Coffee-Mate, Bics and Post-it Notes.  

It may not have the same tactile fun of physically hitting a button when you’re low on a product, but automatic detection of restocking needs is probably more practical for businesses anyway – as long as Amazon stocks the specific brand of Post-it Notes your employees like to burn through, that is…

Is this a good concept, or innovation for innovation’s sake? Let us know what you think on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.

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