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How Amazon Is Slowly Building a World in Which It Takes Very Little Effort to Shop

'Replenishment' service nabs GE, other brands

E-commerce is changing radically thanks to gadgets and software. Amazon

If you use all of Amazon's technologies in the near future, you almost won't have to leave your home. And you won't even have to push buttons to get your household needs fulfilled. 

The Seattle-based retailer today revealed that General Electric, printer brand Brother and glucose-monitor player Gmate Smart are the latest brands to partner with Amazon Dash Replenishment. The 3-month-old program lets appliances and gadgets order products without any help at all. For instance, GE's washers that utilize what's called "smart dispense technology" can be programmed to automatically order detergent when the owner is running low on his or her go-to brand. 

You don't even need to push one of those Amazon Dash buttons the e-commerce giant unveiled in April. Essentially, the Replenishment system will send the order through your Amazon Prime account via its namesake mobile app—think items you always need like dog food, coffee beans or grounds, ink cartridges (when it comes to Brother), blood-sugar testing strips (for Gmate Smart), water filters for purifying pitchers, dish-washing soap, etc. 

No effort required, and if Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos gets his way with drones, very little human energy will be spent on delivering such items to your home. A new commercial world is emerging, indeed. 

Other brands that were already a part of Dash Replenishment include Whirlpool (for its high-tech dishwashers) and hand sanitizer Purell. The initiative builds on Amazon Echo, the 11-month-old speaker system with voice-control technology that lets folks order goods just by talking into the device. 

"It's exciting to make Dash Replenishment a reality," Daniel Rausch, director of Amazon Devices, said in a statement. "Customers can start taking advantage of the service today, and we will continue to launch and add new devices to the program this year."

Now, if Rausch's team can make exercise as automatic as shopping, Amazon can just have us all. 

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