[Geeks are Sexy] technology news

Monday, July 24, 2006

WiFi in your Laundry Room?

Apparently, a new consortium of consumer electronics companies wants to put WiFi in your laundry room, letting you wash and dry your clothes remotely through the use of e-mail, instant messaging, or cell phone.

The Internet Home Alliance has launched an eight week trial in US homes, in Atlanta, to see how wireless communications can streamline the family laundry. The Alliance is the connected home research group of the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), North America's only industry association dedicated to providing information, education and networking opportunities relating to home and building automation.

Unfortunately, these new hi-tech washers / dryers cannot load, unload, or transfer piles of laundry between themselves, so I really don't see how people would profit from washing their clothes using these machines. I guess that this is just another clever way that corporations came up with to incite people to change their perfectly functional washers and dryers with newer ones.

Read more.


  • I've a vague memory of one of my university tutors regaling us with a story concerning the early design of white goods etc. It went something like this:

    That the see-through windows were in fact added to the design of washing machines (specifically) for the Western market. The psychology being that consumers in the West were distrustful of 'modern technology' to get the job done properly. Therefore the windows were added so people could in fact watch their clothes spin round & round. Thus requiring the user to be there to witness it. As opposed to being somewhere else doing something more interesting.

    By contrast, the Asian (Japanese) market had no such requirements being already leaps and bounds ahead technology-wise and therefore trusting completely in the technology they were producing. And no doubt most likely off somewhere else doing something more interesting.

    Clearly current psychological assumptions regarding consumer requirements have changed wildly.

    "A key rationale for the trial is that such communications might free up the time people dedicate to washing."

    Perhaps if they designed a machine that washed the clothes, dried them, ironed them and then sorted everything into neat piles they might be onto something.

    I can't believe anyone is that busy that they need a washing machine that send them an sms informing them the wash cycle has completed.

    Bizarre. And pointless.

    I suspect you're correct: it's just another ruse to get consumers buying products they don't actually need.


    By Blogger Caroline Natasha, at 9:19 AM  

  • "Perhaps if they designed a machine that washed the clothes, dried them, ironed them and then sorted everything into neat piles they might be onto something."

    Yeah, but the day that this kind of product will come out on the market, robots that are able to do the same thing and much more will probably be also available to consummers. :)

    By Blogger Kiltak, at 9:41 AM  

  • LOL of course... I assumed that was a given ;o)

    Reading articles like that almost makes me regret getting out of the Industrial Design industry. I'll be interested to see where they go with this one. My dissertation was on domestic goods / advertising of such. It's a fascinating subject when you get down to it.

    Great site btw.


    By Blogger Caroline Natasha, at 10:03 AM  

  • that would be cool!

    By Blogger Lady Luck, at 10:16 AM  

  • This so-so idea could be great if instead of applied to a single household, it was applied to a commons laundry such as a dormatory or apartments. Not having to camp the laundry room all day would be much more productive (or at least enjoyable) use of time. Also the wireless system could function as a "guard dog", and it should let you know if a machine with your laundry was opened or stopped. That way you could rush down and see if there's an unbalanced load or some punk trying to dump a load before it's done or even worse- stealing something.

    By Blogger pauljs75, at 8:39 AM  

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