Ikan Scans Groceries from Home
I remember this mediocre Schwarzenegger movie called The 6th Day. The film was set in the “not too distant future” and depicts a scene where Ah-nold’s character goes to get something from the refrigerator. With a lovely female digital voice, the futuristic fridge then tells the governator that he is low on milk, and that he should order more. Arnold then touches the screen, and the voice says: “thank you for ordering milk”.
Once again, science fiction, even so-so sci-fi, has come to fruition with the invention of the iKan. Unlike other products that have a little “I” in front of it, this Ikan can actually do some pretty useful stuff. All right, enough Apple slams. The Ikan is essentially a Wi-Fi connected bar-code scanner/terminal that can create an easy-to-use virtual shopping list.
The iKan looks like a retail barcode laser scanner, but its is made for the home. It is designed to fit in with a normal kitchen, and take up as least space as possible. What you do is you scan whatever items you throw away underneath it, and it puts it on a list. From there, you can download the list on Wi-Fi to the nearest store, who can then have the items ready to pick up.
Unfortunately, for the quick shopping pick-up feature to work, your store must be an Ikan supported retailer. I am also assuming that this store must have some employee who has nothing better to do than run around the store and fill everyone’s Ikan orders. That could be a really busy or lazy job, depending on how well the Ikan catches on. Perhaps one day they will invent the Ishopper, a robot who goes from aisle to aisle collecting Ikan orders. The Ishopper could have robot arms and a cart for a body. I realize that sounds like science fiction, but are we really that far from it? I’m sure spaceships and submarines existed only in the worlds of Jules Verne.
For those that still do grocery shopping the old fashioned way, you can also send the grocery list to your computer and have it ready to print out.
The Ikan was developed independently by four people who have young families and know exactly what it is like to be pressed for time for grocery shopping. They noticed that it was easy to forget when certain items were lacking, and how they resulted in repeated trips to the grocery store. They also saw a way to encourage people to recycle with the reminder of scanning before discarding a recyclable container.
The Ikan plans to have the first testing stages by summer of 2007, and those who are interested can even apply for the Beta by clicking one of the links below.