I’m as much a gadget guy as any, but every now and then I see a new bit of technology come along that seems just a year or two ahead of its time.

Like the iPad, for example.

Call it the iPad of the Kitchen if you want, but I have to think that the Ikan might be one of those products that the kitchen can do without.

But maybe I’m wrong. You decide.

The Ikan is like a grocery scanner for your kitchen, except that it scans things on the way out, as in before you toss them into the trash. Just used a can of beans? Scan the bar code with the Ikan. Anything with a bar code can be scanned. Why? So the Ikan can make a grocery list for you. “What about vegetables,” you ask? The Ikan has a voice recorder system for entering those items to your list. And if that’s all the Ikan did, I think 99% of you would agree that $599 (yes, you read that right) is a bit much for a glorified grocery list generator.

But the Ikan does more. See, it also connects wirelessly to your home’s network. So those who also have a food delivery or pickup service with a PeaPod, for example, will see their grocery list stored online (including those voice messages for veggies and such) for easy online grocery shopping. With the grocery list already prepared by the Ikan, all the user has to do is click “order” and the food arrives at the door or is ready for pick up, depending on your service. It will also send you reminders to place your online order. So your kitchen stays restocked all the time, and all you have to do is remember to scan used items with the Ikan before throwing the packaging away. Even if you don’t have a food delivery or pickup service you can still print out the Ikan-generated grocery list when you are ready to shop.

If a household has $600 to put towards superfluous gadgets and already pays for a food delivery or pickup service, the Ikan is definitely a fun tool to consider. I don’t use such a service, so $600 is a bit much to plop down for a digitized and online grocery list for me personally.

What about you? Could you use the Ikan in your kitchen?