GeniCan scans your trash to create a grocery list

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A Fairfield man and his business partner are raising money for an app that they say will ensure that you never go to the grocery store without an updated shopping list.

It all starts with a very smart garbage can. A scanner on the GeniCan takes inventory of items people throw into the trash and sends a "list" to them before they get to the store. By the time the packaging hits the bottom of the trash can or recycling bin, the item has been added to a grocery list on users' cellphones.

Dave Pestka, of Fairfield, is a co-founder of GeniCan; its inventor is Rob Griffin. If they have their way, scanning garbage will become an everyday occurrence. The idea started last year with a trip to the grocery store by Griffin's wife.

"After one more time of her asking me to text the grocery list to her, I said 'there's got to be a better way,'" says Griffin. "I started thinking about where I'd start, and the garbage can was the most natural place."

Griffin wants to change the way people get their groceries, from automatic delivery to real-time updates about items that are on sale. There is even a voice-activation feature for items that can't be read by the scanner on the trash can, like paper towel rolls.

And if it this all seems like a very high-tech and complex solution to something that isn't considered a big problem, Griffin asks how often people have had to make extra trips to the store because they forgot items.

"Eighty percent of the time, we found we would end up in the grocery store with either an incomplete list because my 10-year-old son threw something away or forgot to write it down," says Griffin.

The GeniCan team hopes to have the full product and app available by the end of this year.

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