Two years ago a popular article implied the iPhone had hit the design ceiling; the author claimed the form was so minimal there was no place left for an industrial designer to go. Similarly, Nike CEO Mark Parker, whom we interviewed several months ago, recounted the story of an airplane seatmate discovering he was a sneaker designer and asking him "What more can you do with shoes that hasn't already been done?"
The ID-savvy among us can dismiss those assumptions as naive. But are there products out there that have hit their design ceiling, at least in terms of functionality? If I had to pick one, prior to seeing the video below, I might have said the wastebasket; it's just a receptacle that sits there, not much room for improvement. Then I saw this thing:
Awesome, no? A Japanese speaker will have to tell us if the robotic can was created for, or subsequently inspired by, the breathmint commercial that kicks it off. But even without understanding the language we can all see that the creator has used a Microsoft Kinect as the bin-bot's "eyes," which then apparently wirelessly transmits instructions to the on-board motor.
You could argue that a mobile, predictive wastebasket is or isn't useful. You could argue that Vipp or Umbra won't crank one of these out anytime soon. But what I'd love to see in the future is Roomba picking up on this. Why not have a wastebasket that also vacuums and sweeps, and saves you the step of having to empty its collections into another receptacle?
Trash can via hackaday