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The Intelligent dustbin


January 31, 2005

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February 1, 2005 The concept of the intelligent dustbin has been around for a few years now, and some futurists expect the dustbin will inevitably become much smarter as time goes by. That's because it is the logical place to have an RFID tag reader (the next gen bar-code scanner) to keep track of what's been consumed. If the intelligent home is to ever be able to effectively maintain the household pantry and consumables inventory of the future, the dustbin is likely to be part of the equation. The realisation of that concept is a few years off yet, but in the meantime we were pleasantly surprised this week to see an intelligent rubbish bin hit the streets at a very affordable price.

using the word "intelligent" might be stretching it a bit - that's GadgetCentral's description not ours. Perhaps "aware" might be a better word because in this case it detects that you are directly in front of it (closer than 20cm to the sensor) and opens the lid, closing it six seconds later.

Now although that hardly rates alongside Stephen Hawking in intelligence, it's bloody clever for a dustbin, particularly one that retails for less than US$30.

The dustbin's "killer app" is of course, that you don't need to touch it when placing something inside, so you reduce the risk of transferring germs from one of the dirtiest places in the house onto your hands, or putting grubby/wet/sticky fingers onto the outside of the dustbin. You can also use both hands to wrestle the garbage into submission, and this really does give the previously dour and unappealing dustbin a different "presence."

The bin works using infrared, so you just wave your hand/foot/leg in front of the bin and the lid opens! The bin uses four 'D' cell batteries and they'll last around six months, so operating costs are negligible and there is no need for an electrical connection.

The 23 litre capacity bin measures 270 (W) x 510(H) x 33(D)mm and can be purchased from GadgetCentral at AUD $39.95

The intelligent dustbin is not the first enhanced dustbin we've covered in Gizmag - the SweepEZE by Westinghouse is about twice the price and offers different functionality. When you sweep dirt up to the SweepEZE, it sucks the dirt inside without you needing to bend down and use a brush and shovel to get the dirt into the bin.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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