Amazon Dash-powered WePlenish smart pantry device orders snacks, coffee, more

A smart device manufacturer based near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is helping Amazon on its mission to augment all smart homes by offering a new smart pantry device. The WePlenish Java Smart Container orders snacks and coffee — from certain designated brands only — automatically using Amazon Dash.

The company has raised about $15,000 of its $50,000 goal on Kickstarter, and WePlenish is already offering pre-orders on its website for a flat $20, half of the device’s estimated retail cost of $40.

Available in shiny black or white finishes, the WePlenish Java uses smart sensors to detect the levels of whatever its tracking, which may include coffee pods, espresso capsules, or tea, as well as snacks like granola bars, beef jerky, and graham crackers. When the supply level drops below 50 percent, the WePlenish Java uses Wi-Fi to reorder the item using Amazon Dash Replenishment. It’s also battery-powered, so owners can stash the WePlenish Java back in an actual pantry, or leave it on the counter as another shiny accoutrement for the kitchen.

“We started WePlenish because we believe the future of the smart home depends on automation,” said founder Ro Grosman, whose previous experience includes a leadership role at sales platform GoDataFeed. “It’s a home where technology does the work for you, saving you time and effort, so you can do more of the things you love.”

To get started, WePlenish Java customers download the app and use it to link the device to compatible consumables by connecting to their Amazon account. An icon at the bottom of the screen lets users browse through compatible products. Right now, it’s a device with limitations related to branding. However, WePlenish Java owners can also manage their inventories and orders manually using the app.

Currently, WePlenish has identified about 90 branded products that have been screened to work with the WePlenish Java, including familiar consumer items like Kind bars, Folgers K-Cup Pods, and single-shot coffee pods from Starbucks, Nespresso, and Krispy Kreme.

“Dash replenishment makes it easy for device makers to build automatic replenishment into devices, offering a differentiated, convenient experience that helps keep customers’ homes running smoothly,” said Dean Seifert, general manager for Amazon Dash. “WePlenish Java is another great example of how Dash Replenishment can help simplify customers’ lives — simply set up Dash Replenishment, and Amazon delivers everyday essentials like coffee pods or pantry must-haves the moment supplies run low.”

As always, we dig the innovation and inventive thinking that often leads to Kickstarter and other crowd-funding platforms, but we’ve all been burned by vaporware, too, so we still remind everyone: be careful with crowd-funded projects so you don’t get burned.

Product Review

Bigger. Smarter. Louder. The Echo Plus makes Alexa sound better than ever

Amazon’s second-generation Echo Plus speaker is the loudest, bassiest speaker in the Echo fleet. While featuring a smart hub with only Zigbee connectivity, other upgrades make this device a worthy smart speaker.
Smart Home

Add some nature to your tech with Mui, a wood panel that’s also a smart display

Are you so immersed in technology that you long for a touch of nature in your home? You could get some potted plants -- or you could invest in Mui, a wood panel that is also an internet-connected smart display.
Smart Home

How to create spooky Halloween effects with smart home lighting and sound

This Halloween, bathe your home with eerie smart home lighting and audio effects guaranteed to spook your neighbors. Use colored light and eerie sounds to create eerie Halloween effects.
Smart Home

Alexa will trick or greet you with custom doorbells this Halloween

Amazon released new Alexa-compatible smart doorbell application tools for developers. These let smart cameras and doorbells use motion sensing and doorbell presses to start Alexa Routines.
Smart Home

Second-gen vs. third-gen Echo Dot: What’s the difference?

Amazon's third-generation Echo Dot was just released. Is it worth upgrading your second-generation Echo Dot? Here, we take a closer look at the two devices to see how much Amazon has improved its flagship Alexa voice assistant smart…
Smart Home

Amazon has an even dozen new smart devices. Here’s how to order

Amazon's hardware announcement meant a whole bunch of new Amazon Alexa gadgets. From a microwave to stereo equipment, here is the complete list of devices that were announced, as well as reviews for some.
Smart Home

Vector, the engaging Alexa-like robot, is ready to roam around your home

Anyone who has ever watched Short Circuit or WALL-E has surely dreamed about having a robot buddy come live with them. Finally, that dream is now a reality. It's name is Vector, and it's available now.
Smart Home

Brew it fast, hot, and flavorful with our favorite coffee makers

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Deals

The best iRobot Roomba deals to make cleaning your home a breeze

Keep your home clean without lifting a finger using a robot vacuum cleaner. These nine iRobot Roomba deals not only help you keep your home tidy, but many also come with advanced features such as automatic scheduling and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Smart Home

Keep an eye on your kingdom with the best home security cameras

When it comes to the best home security cameras, the choice often comes down to the one that simply knows how to stay out of your way. Here are some of our favorites, both indoor and outdoor.
Deals

Suck up the savings with these vacuum cleaners on sale for $100 or less

Keeping your floors clean around the home is a constant chore. To help make things a whole lot easier, we've picked out 12 great vacuum cleaner deals available on Amazon right now, from full-sized upright models to robot vacs.
Smart Home

Here’s everything you need to know about Amazon Prime Pantry

The marvels of the Internet have made it possible to do all your shopping from the comfort of your living room. Amazon Prime Pantry allows you to buy groceries and household items online. Here's more info about the service.
Deals

Save energy and money with a $45 discount on the Nest smart thermostat

If you were looking for a smart thermostat, Amazon is offering up to $45 in savings on the popular Nest Learning Thermostat. Use stainless steel thermostat to the keep your home warm and cozy this fall and save energy by scheduling the…
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high tech and under budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…