Buying groceries can be such a pain, especially if you forget to buy something you need. That's the driving force behind the creation of a simple little bar code scanner that reads your kitchen items, and, through an iOS app, uploads everyone's needs to a shopping list on your phone.
The new hand-held gadget is called the Hiku. It acts as a barcode scanner to read the code on items you need, and sends the data to the company's backend, where it interprets your list and then syncs it to your phone. With an iPod aesthetic, the scanner is still heavy duty enough for kitchen use, yet to use it you simply touch a button. It can be used by anyone in the household, including children, to keep track of what's needed. (Read: you'll probably see a box of cookies or two listed that you don't remember being there.)
Don't feel like scanning? You can use Hiku's microphone function to dictate your list, and again the Hiku will send it to the backend to interpret the data and upload your items to the app. Both the scanner and microphone function via Bluetooth.
While the Hiku seems like a very limited gadget in scope, the makers are thinking of ways to expand its use. Two former Palm employees, Rob Katcher and Manu Chatterjee, are the minds behind the device and they've announced that it will have open software that can sync with popular products such as Evernote, Remember The Milk, and Astrid Tasks. Because everyone is different and uses lists in different ways, having the option to choose an app outside of the one that comes with the program makes it easier to use alongside a user's preferred method to stay organized.
Katcher and Chatterjee report they would also like to have an API for developers so the device could be customized for other applications.
The Hiku is a Kickstarter project, with prototypes already created and software in the works. The pricing starts at $79 for early entrants and expands from there. The Hiku is expected to start shipping in March of 2013.