When you run out of something at home, it's all too easy to forget to add it to your next shopping list. This prototype device is aimed at ensuring that no longer happens. The GeniCan attaches to a trashcan so it can be used to scan barcodes of items as they are thrown out. They can then be added to a list or automatically reordered.
The GeniCan is a similar concept to Amazon's recently announced Dash Button, which reorders products with a simple press. By scanning the barcodes of used products, however, the idea is that GeniCan can work with a wealth of different products.
A mounting system is provided to attach the GeniCan to a trashcan, with a magnetic panel attaching to one side using adhesive strips and holding the GeniCan in place on the other. it is designed to work with square, rectangular, plastic and metal trashcans. Wall and cabinet mounting options are also available, and a counter-top bracket is planned.
The device can be powered either from the mains or by an internal battery. The battery lasts for an estimated seven days depending on usage and needs to be charged overnight when flat.
Once installed, the GeniCan is connected to a home Wi-Fi network, via which it cross-references scanned barcodes against a UPC database and sends all data to its cloud service. The cloud service, in turn, sends info to the accompanying smartphone app.
When an item is scanned, it can be added to a user's shopping list, coupons for it sourced if available or, potentially, automatically reordered. If an item does not have a barcode, it can be held in front of the GeniCan sensor until a voice prompt asks what needs to be added to the user's shopping list. A microphone coupled with voice-to-text technology allows users to tell the device what is required and have it show up in the app's shopping list.
By adding items to a shopping list in the app, the GeniCan eliminates the possibility for forgetting to take a paper list to the shop. Items are also sorted into aisle types for easy browsing when at the shop.
GeniCan says coupons will be sourced through partnerships direct with manufacturers and with third-party suppliers. The company tells Gizmag that work on the partnerships is still ongoing, and that third party services will be used to provide automatic reordering of selected products.
In addition to a barcode reader, microphone and speaker, the GeniCan has a sensor that is used to determine if a trashcan is full. If so, the user will receive a notification on the app to say that it needs emptying ... just in case that isn't obvious from the milk carton sticking out the top.
An Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is underway for the GeniCan. At the time of writing, a pledge of US$119 will get you a GeniCan, assuming all goes to plan with production and roll-out. Shipping is expected to begin in September this year.
The video below is the Indiegogo pitch for the GeniCan.