Amazon's smart shelves will re-order office supplies automatically

The spirit of Amazon's Dash buttons will live on in businesses.

Amazon's Dash buttons were a boon for the forgetful and time-pressed when they launched in 2015. The nifty little device let you re-order household items the moment you realized you'd run out, at the simple touch of, well... a button. But while they were discontinued earlier this year, their concept will continue to live on in the Amazon Dash Smart Shelf, a weight-sensing, WiFi-enabled smart scale designed to take the hassle out of office supply management for small businesses.

The device can be placed on a stock room shelf or break room countertop and will automatically track inventory for common business supplies, such as stationery, coffee or printer paper. Just keep the item you want to track on top of the shelf, and it will sense when a product is running low. It'll automatically re-order more or, if you prefer, send you an alert so you can place a re-order manually.

The shelf comes in three sizes -- small (7x7-inch), medium (12x10-inch) and large (18x13-inch) -- and is managed through the Amazon Shopping app or an Amazon Business account. And because it's designed for Amazon Business customers, you'll be able to access business-only prices and savings of up to 15 percent on the products you monitor and purchase using the shelf.

According to Amazon, small businesses make up 99.9 percent of businesses in the US -- many of which don't have the time or resources to spend on tedious tasks such as office supply management -- so Amazon's Dash Smart Shelf could be a major help for companies that just want to get on with things. It'll be available to Amazon Business customers with a registered US business license starting next year.