Amazon has released the Dash Smart Shelf in their continued effort to remind you to buy stuff that is running low. The “shelf” is actually a thin scale that senses when the items you’ve placed on it have reduced in weight enough to need reordering. You configure if you want it to just notify you when what is on it is running low or if you want it to also automatically reorder the item from Amazon.
The shelves come in 3 different sizes and all cost the same at $19.99 each, although they are currently all on sale for $14.99 for Black Friday. The smallest size is 7-inches by 7-inches squared and can take up to a maximum of 30 lbs. The medium size is 12-inches wide by 10-inches deep with a 60 lbs weight limit, and the largest version is 18-inches wide by 13-inches deep with a 200 lbs weight limit. They all connect to the internet directly via 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and are powered by 4 included AAA batteries that are said to last over 2 years. They can also be powered by their micro-USB port through a power adapter that is sold separately. On battery power, the shelf checks the weight only once a day, but on wall power, it checks once an hour.
To configure each shelf, you select which of the thousands of compatible products is placed on it. If the product doesn’t sit well on its own, you can put them in a storage container and the shelf can be set to ignore the weight of the container when determining if the product is running low.
A weight threshold, from 10% to 75%, can be set for each shelf to configure when it considers something to be running low, or you can let Amazon decide when it’s the best time to take action. The shelf waits until you’re running low for up to a day before taking action, so moving it around or bumping items off won’t cause notifications/orders. The action can be set to either reorder the item automatically or to just notify you so that you can reorder manually. You can also use the Amazon app to remotely check the weight of what is on the shelf at any time.
Amazon is offering up to 25% off of the first order made using the Dash Smart Shelf if the product is one of about 500 qualifying products. They also state that “you can also get Subscribe & Save discounts on a variety of products” but it’s not clear how that works in conjunction with the shelf. If you’re interested in giving it a shot, as mentioned, they’re currently on sale for $14.99 instead of their usual price of $19.99. All sizes cost the same and you can configure each one to work with only one product at a time.