Simplehuman, the high-end housewares maker, takes product testing very seriously. The obsession appears to be paying off.
The company’s new hi-fi mirror undergoes testing.

IN THE BACK OF A BIG WAREHOUSE in Torrance, Calif., engineers at home-essentials maker Simplehuman are putting the company’s voice-activated trash can through its paces. The goal: to test the reliability of its voice-recognition technology by subjecting it to a sonic pummeling.

Every 10 seconds, hour after hour, a robotic voice from a speaker repeats, “Open can.” And every 10 seconds, hour after hour, the lids on a quartet of trash

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