We are all pretty used to having smart devices in our homes. We've become accustomed to saying things like 'Okay Google, do I need an umbrella today?' every morning or shouting 'Alexa, play Come on Eileen' at every gathering. In fact, it is expected that by 2023, the average UK home will contain over 50 smart devices*.
One area that has seen a massive growth is smart washing machines. We are seeing more and more Wi-Fi enabled and app connected washing machines and tumble dryers on the market from brands like Samsung, Siemens, Bosch and Miele.
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These models are all well and good. They allow you to do things like set your washing machine remotely from other devices, monitor the progress of your washing via an app, and will send a notification to your phone when your washing is done. But in terms of the laundry process the smart tech ends there. You still have to load, unload, iron, fold, put away. And repeat.
But it looks like the latest and upcoming models are trying to change that, and completely streamline the chore of washing, drying and even folding clothes. There was a glimpse of what this Jetson-esque life might look like at the Haier 2019 Washing and Fabric Caring Industry Strategy Launch Event, in Wuhan China.
Chinese consumer electronics and home appliances company Haier, debuted its Qianhe washing machine at the event early this week. It's the world's first ultra-sonic air-washing machine that converts water into micron particles that permeate through clothes fabrics to smooth out creases – which means you don't have to iron anything that comes out of the machine.
This technology is part of Haier's 'internet of clothing' concept, a network of laundry solutions that goes beyond just smart washing machines to make the whole process easier. The eventual goal is to connect all the appliances involved in doing laundry – the smart washing machine, laundry rack and even a folding machine.
So how does it all work? Well, first, the washing machine completes a wash cycle. Then the smart folding machine, installed on the smart laundry rack, detects if the clothes are thoroughly dried then analyses the type of the clothes and then it folds them.
Haier also showed off the Leader 2 washing machine, which uses an AI-backed virtual laundry assistant that makes recommendations on fabric care and laundry settings. Plus, there's the U+ smartphone app, which can be used to monitor water quality and temperature; this machine can also recognise clothes' materials and brands, then customise the wash cycle to suit.
Sounds like something we need in our lives... But we'll have to wait until development stage is over. We'll let you know when these smart, smart washing machines become available.