Coming soon to your kitchen: The 'smart' trash can

There are smartphones, soon there will be smart cars, so why not a "smart" trash can?

GeniCan—a device currently raising money on Indiegogo—attaches to the side of trash cans and scans bar codes as items are being thrown out. After crossing the scanner, the bar codes are cross-referenced against existing UPC codes in a database via a home Wi-Fi network. If an item doesn't have a bar code, it can be held in front of the sensor until prompted by the device with a request for which item should be added.

"It truly all started when my wife would call me from the grocery store and not have the grocery list saying, 'Hey, Rob can you text me the grocery list?'" co-founder Rob Griffin said.

Once the garbage can is full, the device will send a message to your phone that it is time to empty it. And as the trash piles up, owners can then turn to their accompanying smartphone app to see items being added to their mobile shopping list and, importantly, paired with compatible manufacturer coupons.

That mobile shopping list can be accessed by multiple users, each tied to their unique email addresses, Griffin said. Much like the recently debuted Amazon Dash button, users will be able to reorder items through grocery delivery service partners.

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The data collected by the sensor will be kept private, but "advertisers and manufacturers will be given anonymized data for coupons and value-add services to our customers," Griffin said.

While it isn't disclosing any official partners yet, it is in talks with several contenders, Griffin said.

GeniCan features and app
GeniCan

"The fact that we're doing Indiegogo is purposeful, the pockets of individuals that purchase the device early—we'll make sure we target those grocery stores for the launch and then focus on the rest of the country," Griffin said.

GeniCan has an Indiegogo funding goal of $50,000, and it's currently raised more that $4,600. Early backers can order the device for $119. Shipping is expected in September of this year.