I’ve tested many unique smart home devices, and I’m always surprised at how many cool gadgets are hitting the market every year. From Wi-Fi cameras with face detection to dog-sitting robots, a smart homeowner can choose from a little bit of everything. But out of all these devices, the one that surprised me most is the Simplehuman Sensor Can, a smart garbage can.

The stainless steel Simplehuman Sensor Can is a smart garbage can with voice control. It responds to your voice or hand gestures to open, stay open, or close. If it sounds simple, that’s because it is. If it also sounds like something you wouldn’t find useful, think again. I was skeptical when I set it up at my house, but now that I’ve used it for a few weeks, my kids and I are completely hooked on having a smart garbage can.

Here’s my look at the Simplehuman Sensor Can.

Appearance and features of Simplehuman Sensor Can

Simplehuman Sensor Can

The Simplehuman Sensor Can is a 58L garbage can with voice control. While it holds a lot of garbage, it has a very low profile. Measuring at 63 cm (25 inches) high, it can easily fit anywhere in your kitchen.

  • Simplehuman Sensor Can has voice recognition and a triangulate microphone to pick up voice commands in loud environments
  • Commands include “Open Can,” “Stay Open,” and “Close Can”
  • A built-in motion sensor recognizes your hand movements using infrared fields located above and in front of the can
  • Has planetary gear system and 52dB sound, so the lid glides quietly open and closed
  • Includes custom, replaceable liners that fit perfectly in the can
  • Liner pocket holds all of your extra liners
  • Stainless steel exterior has a nano-silver coating to protect from fingerprints

Testing Simplehuman Sensor Can

Simplehuman 58L Sensor Can review

It’s easy to set up the Simplehuman Sensor Can. You unpack it from the box, add a liner, and plug it in. It’s a short can in comparison to my own foot pedal garbage can, but you’ll be shocked at how much garbage it holds.

Opening and closing the can with voice control

Why would you need a smart garbage can with voice control? This is a question I asked myself when I plugged it in. After all, a foot pedal should work just as well as a garbage can that opens on its own, right?

I was definitely wrong on that count. Using voice commands to open your garbage can, even from way across the room, is just so convenient. How many times have you had your hands full of something you needed to toss away, only to try to lift the lid of your can and drop it? Or, how many times have you, like me, had that foot pedal only depress the lid half way, and you have to shove the lid open with your elbow?

With the Simplehuman Sensor Can, you can just say “Open can,” and the can will open. Thanks to the sensitive triangulate microphone, you can say it from half way across the room as you approach the can, and it will be open when you get there. It frees up your hands (and in my case, elbows) and you can just dump your garbage inside and walk away.

If you’re going to come back with more garbage, you can say “Stay Open,” and the can won’t automatically close. Or, if you’d like to close the can as you are walking away, you can say “Close Can,” and it will close.

Using gestures to open and close Simplehuman Sensor Can

You can use gestures instead of voice commands. To use gestures, you just wave your hand in front (or on top) of the can. The infrared sensors will pick up the movement and open or close the can. If the ‘open can’ command didn’t pick up for me, I’d wave my hand, and the smart can would glide open.

Waving my hand worked 9 times out of 10. The sensors on the can also picked up what my kids and I called ‘false opens.’ A false open is what would happen when we walked past the can and it would open (thinking we were making a gesture).

Included liners fit the can perfectly

Simplehuman sensor can liner

There’s a lot to be said for a garbage can with custom-designed liners. With the Simplehuman Sensor Can, you get several liners that sit in their own pouch inside the smart can. You just pull the liner out when you need one, and place it in the garbage can. It fits the can perfectly all the way around, so there’s no excess bag sticking out.

The Simplehuman Sensor Can takes custom-fit H liners that you can purchase, but you can also use a standard garbage bag. You just won’t be able to store the bags inside the can like you can the custom liners.

How quiet is this smart garbage can?

I’m not a fan of the sound of metal-lid trash cans slamming to a close. It always makes me jump, and I wonder why I bought that type of trash can in the first place. The Simplehuman Sensor Can is so quiet, if I didn’t see it opening and closing, I wouldn’t even know it did. The planetary gear system means it glides open and glides closed.

How much trash can the Simplehuman Sensor Can hold?

Although the Simplehuman trash can looks small, it can hold a ton of trash. I was shocked at how much stuff I could put in there. I packed it down once because I felt like the overflow was interfering with the senors, but I feel as though I put double the amount of trash in the can than I would normally, and there’s still room for more.

Stainless steel exterior repels fingerprints

Simplehuman smart garbage can

The Simplehuman smart can has a nano-silver coating to repel fingerprints. This can will repel marks better than my dishwasher and refrigerator, and if something did stick to it, all you have to do is break out your glass spray, and it’s shiny and clean again.

Should you buy the Simplehuman Smart Can?

When I first started using the Simplehuman Smart Can, I didn’t think it would be that different from a regular garbage can, but there is a lot to be said for having a trash can just glide open in front of you when your hands are full. It takes the mess out of kitchen tasks, and your trash can will stay neat and clean too.

The included liners are a must. They fit the can so perfectly, and they hold a ton of trash without ripping. I also really like how they are stored right in the can.

The Simplehuman Sensor Can works just like it should. It holds your trash, holds a lot of it, and opens up when you want to put trash inside it. I’ll admit I was skeptical over how useful it would be, but I would definitely use this smart can in my house. Hands-free trash disposal just keeps everything cleaner.

You can find the Simplehuman Sensor Can at Best Buy right now.

Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag


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