When it comes to the demand for technological innovation in our homes, washing machines might not be at the top of the wish list. We want our TV's to display sharper images, we want our computers to process websites faster, and we want our sound systems to be so crisp it feels like the band are playing right there in the living room. But sitting quietly in the kitchen, the technology being developed in your washing machine might just blow your socks off (after cleaning them of course).
Here are 5 of the current innovations within the washing machine industry, which show just how far these appliances have come:
The Brain - Intelligent washing machines might sound like something from a dodgy sci-fi movie, but the team at LG have developed the appliance that does all the thinking for you. You add your laundry, and the appliance decides how much water and detergent is needed, and how long the wash needs to last. This ensures that your clothes always get the optimum wash they need, whilst saving energy and money. Just be careful it's not plotting your downfall while you sleep.
Waterless Washing - Ok, this is a bit of a lie. We've not quite got to the waterless washing machine just yet, however Scientists at the University of Leeds have created an appliance that needs just one cup of water for a full wash, this is less than 2% of the water used by a standard washing machine! The appliance uses the small amount of water to loosen the dirt, which is then soaked up by plastic chips, leaving the clothes virtually dry. The technology has taken over 30 years to create, but the makers believe the machine could go on general sale as soon as 2012.
Do It Online - As the internet age advances, we control more and more of our lives from our laptops and smart phones. So it's no surprise to hear LG are developing a washing machine that be controlled from anywhere in the world, meaning you're not stuck in the kitchen while you wait for your cycle to finish. This feature will be perfect if you want your clothes clean, fresh and dry the moment you step in from work.
Bubble Technology - After spending millions of man hours searching for a hi-tech breakthrough for an energy saving washing machine , the engineers at Samsung where surprised to find that the biggest innovation comes from the cleaning potential of the simple bubble. There new ‘EcoBubble’ technology harness the power of bubbles, and produces a greater wash using 70% less water than a standard ‘A’ rated washing machine.
The Anti-Sexism Appliance - Maybe the craziest innovation of all is the washing machine designed to stop lazy males letting their partners do all the laundry. A Spanish Designer has developed an appliance with fingerprint recognition technology, which ensures the machine will not start if the same user tries to use it twice in a row. So any men who think they can sit back and let the woman in their life do wash after wash may be in for a rude awakening.
These are just five of the hundreds of innovations being developed in the home laundry sector. So next time you are picturing the world of tomorrow, remember the humble washing machine amongst the robot butlers and hover boards.