Sensor-activated trash can opens up like the airlock on a futuristic spaceship

Call it form over function if you want, but the Iris, a new high-tech trash can, looks like something out of a 1960s science fiction movie. The idea is this: It’s a shiny trash can with a sealed top. Approach it with some piece of debris, however, and when you’re within a few inches, you will be detected by an infrared sensor beam. At this point, its iris diaphragm lid slowly opens like an airlock or futuristic spaceship door so you can carefully place the object inside without having to touch the can. The sensors then cause the mechanism to close again as you walk away.

Way slower than throwing a regular item in the trash? Sure. Awesome nonetheless? You bet!

“The idea came to me when I was helping my wife prepare dinner,” creator Everett Belmont told Digital Trends. “After cutting some vegetables, I had to throw some debris into our bin that was located inside a cabinet under the sink. The bin was one of those with a stepper that propels the lid open. The lid kept bumping into the undersink so I [started thinking about whether it was possible to build] a trash can with a closing mechanism that didn’t lift up like most trash cans in the market, but one that could retract within itself.”

iris trash can front black

Belmont admits that the idea appeals to people primarily because it looks cool and unusual. After all, it’s not every day that you can transform the experience of throwing away vegetable peelings into something fun. All the same, we can imagine potential practical applications, such as for an elderly person or individual with limited mobility who can’t operate a regular pedal trash can. It could also potentially be used in scenarios like medical environments to dispose of sharp objects without having to risk coming into contact with other discarded items.

Ultimately, though, it’s just a neat geeky product that would fit perfectly in any gadget lover’s home. If the concept appeals to you, you can currently pledge money on Kickstarter to hopefully secure yourself a finished unit. As always, we offer a warning about pledging money on crowdfunding campaigns. However, if you want to join the slow-moving Iris trashcan revolution, a unit will set you back $189. Shipping is set to take place in January 2019.