We know that phones have gotten a whole lot smarter from their humble beginnings, and the recently concluded CES did point towards smart TVs as well as smart cars – well, it is nice to know that some companies out there do have a heart for smart garbage cans – thanks to the simplehuman sensor here. Similar to a range of other “touchless” garbage cans out there, it has a built-in sensor that is capable of detecting when someone is nearby, causing the can to open its lid. This hands-free technique certainly beats stepping on a foot pedal to do otherwise, and what makes the simplehuman sensor different from others is the company’s claim to fame – that it has a “multi-sense” technology that can adapt to what the user is doing.
Starting off in Ready Mode, its sensor’s trigger zone is focused directly above the lid. This will limit incidences of it being triggered by accident without compromising its performance when required. When the initial reach-in has caused the lid to open, the can will enter into Task mode, helping extend its trigger zone higher to better detect user activity. Alternatively, you can also opt for the Stay-Open mode which is initiated by at least three seconds of continuous user activity, where the lid will stay open for 30 seconds after that. The sensor will also incorporate carbon filters that help absorb nasty odors. This isn’t too environmentally friendly though, so make sure you get half a dozen rechargeable C cell batteries to minimize its impact in the long run (touted to last for a year of average use). There is an optional AC adapter in the works. The simplehuman sensor can will retail for $225 for the 40L/10.5 US gallon model, or $275 for the 55L/14.5 US gallon version. Now these definitely ain’t cheap!