The Ikan is a device that scans your empty jars and boxes before you toss them, making a grocery grocery list filled with stuff you now need. The list travels wirelessly to your computer, and from there to you can place grocery orders for delivery. The weak link in the service is how well integrated the Ikan is with local grocery delivery options, says David Pogue in the New York Times.
I don't know. This concept has reared its head and gotten mention on blogs and websites before—a technology that becomes aware of your empties and assists you by ordering them when you're running low. The times I've seen this idea in the past, it was based on RFID tags, with your fridge becoming a giant RFID-aware device that knew what was in it, and your waste receptacles also being wired to detect what you're discarding.
If we need this type of tech at all, I'd much rather see a passive system using RFID, as described above, not a system like Ikan that forces me to scan stuff and/or speak into it to leave voice memos for things like bananas that don't have barcodes.
Moreover, an RFID-based system could be more closely integrated into automated shopping stores, and in fact it's apparently in the works. Heck, you already use the technology if you have one of those credit cards that you just hold near the reader.
Of course, all this discussion presupposes you feel comfortable having your purchases so trackable.
I have my doubts about the Ikan and am not buying the breathless review of it that Pogue has given it. What about you all? Would you use something like this? Do you already use web-based grocery shopping services like FreshDirect or PeaPod? Would you see yourself using Ikan if it were well-integrated with a good local delivery service?
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