Trender Research™

Technology meets people.

Tech Hi-Lo: Sophisticated or Simple? iTouchless Trashcan Vs. Meade's ETX-LS Telescope

Today we begin a new series comparing some of the most sophisticated gadgets out there with some of the simplest. The goal is to find out what folks really want in their homes. Is it the most whiz-bang technology loaded up with features, or something commonsensical that we can use every day? Price is no limit. Sure, in the real world it is, but for the sake of this discussion we just want to know what you desire and what you would use if money didn’t matter (and no, reselling the product on eBay should not factor into your decision). So read on and please respond to our poll.

First up on the simple side is the Touchless Trashcan by iTouchless Housewares Products, Inc. The Touchless Trashcan is exactly that—a trashcan, similar to one you might already have in the kitchen, that opens when you wave your hand in front of the sensor. It’s perfect for neurotic parents and their kids. No more reminding the kids to wash their hands after throwing something away. Just plug it in and forget about your OCD for a while. iTouchless also has similar solutions for toilets, faucets, and paper towel dispensers geared for the home. For what it’s worth, the Touchless Trashcan comes in several shapes and sizes starting at $89.99.

See Touchless Trashcan demo.

Doing battle with this simple device is the very high-end and very sophisticated ETX-LS telescope from Meade (maybe they’ll take us up on our offer to help with their branding). My heart leaped when I saw this thing demonstrated at CES. The reason is that it not only is a high powered telescope capable of penetrating the night sky, but it has a built-in GPS-based guide that uses audio and video to give you a tour of the galaxy—over 500 celestial objects including descriptions of the planets, moon, stars, clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. Just turn it on and the ETX-LS automatically aligns itself. The “Astronomer Inside” then takes you on a guided multimedia tour of the best objects in your sky. In other words, when little Jonny asks you an astronomy question, you have a much better chance of sounding smart and getting the right answer. All this for $1,299.

Click to see the ETX-LS in action.

So which is it? If you had to decide right now what you wanted in your home, without considering its cost, which would you buy? Hi or Lo?

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