The Internet of Things is expanding beyond smartphones, game consoles, wearable wellness and the ilk to include your appliances. In April, Berg, a design and technology development startup in London, debuted Cloudwash, a prototype for a connected washing machine.
Unlike the complex and often over-engineered internet appliances of old, this washing machine is a refinement on the 106 year old innovation. So why should you connect a washing machine?
The Berg team believes the biggest innovation is the ability for the machine to tell time. Cloudwash can tell you when a load will be complete, eliminating the guesswork typically involved in transferring things to the dryer. Other capabilities include smartphone controlled pre-sets for communicating directly with your washer.
While those are good for a privately owned washing machine, the benefits for public or shared washing machines could be even more significant. Connected washing machines will have the ability to accept PayPal or a credit card, just like parking meters do today. You no longer have to track down those pesky quarters or prepay those annoying cards. They have the ability to text you, or send you an alert, when the washer is available, or when your load is ready to move to the dryer. Thus removing the awkward Saturday afternoon wash days when you sit around watching the machine spin.
The Internet of People and Things is ever-expanding. Giving breath to things as mundane as your washing machine.