Most urban areas have trash and recycling receptacles on every corner to ensure garbage doesn't end up on the ground. This, however, still doesn't completely stop people from littering. Brooklyn-based Sean Auriti has developed the ECan to gamify your garbage and encourge people to stop littering.
The ECan has an infrared sensor that detects when something has been deposited it in, as well as a screen that allows users to ID themselves. A barcode scanner helps the ECan identify what object is being thrown away, if a barcode is available. All of this is powered by solar panels. The tech-savvy garbage can also mines a cryptocurrency invented by Auriti called Emrals every time something is thrown away.
"It's a more human version of Bitcoin because instead of being mined by machines, it'll be mined by real-world actions," Auriti told Vice.
Eventually, Auriti hopes the ECans will be wi-fi enabled, and will be availabe on every block to provide free Internet and mine Emrals, which he hopes will be exchanged as money or help users get discounts on products throughout the city.
For now, users have to login to the ECan with a pin number and if the trash they are throwing away doesn't have a barcode, they are supposed to take a picture of it.
The ECan can also be used to geotag "dirt alerts" when they see litter around the city, and place specified value of Emrals on it. Another user can then go and clean up the litter to earn the Emrals.
“I want to live until I’m 150," Auriti said. "Part of the reason people die is because of pollution. If we can eliminate trash that’s all over the place, I think that can help.”