Augmented Reality Bin Turns Trash into Tetris

Augmented Reality Bin Turns Trash into Tetris

TetraBIN gamifies eco-conscious behavior

Adriana Krasniansky, PSFK Labs
  • 16 march 2015

What motivates you to throw away trash? If you live in a city, you’re most likely influenced by littering fines, guilt-inducing signage, or a contrite conscience. But what if you could be motivated by something positive? Let’s say, like play?

Positive motivation is behind TetraBIN, the augmented reality trash bin that lets users gamify their garbage disposal. The bin uses three internal infrared beams to monitor user input. Once an individual throws a piece of trash into the bin, the infrared path is broken, triggering sensors to send a command the to the bin’s exterior. This activates a LED light display on the exterior cylindrical screen, which drops a geometric block onto a tetris grid. Speakers inside the bin play 8-bit sound tones.


TetraBIN is the brainchild of Sam Johnson and Steven Bai, both alumni of the Design Lab at University of Sydney. The two, who have backgrounds producing media installations, joined forces after brainstorming creative ideas to implement sustained change in people’s lives.


Their resulting project, TetraBIN, employs augmented reality and Internet of Things concepts in order to educate and motivate environmentally-friendly behavior. TetraBIN comes at a time when global organizations such as the United Nations struggle to battle global overpopulation and urban hygiene.


+augmented reality trash bin
+Design Lab University of Sydney
+internet of things
+Sam Johnson
+Steven Bai

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