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Is this the most pointless labour-saving device ever?

FOLDING washing is at the top of the list of many people’s most hated household chores.

So news that someone’s come up with a machine to do it for you had many asking “where can I order”?

But the FoldiMate, unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, has a flaw bigger than its $1200 price tag.

Sure, it folds. The shirts it spits out look great. But that’s all it does. It smooths, but doesn’t iron.

It won’t do socks and jocks.

It won’t put the folded clothes neatly back in the cupboard.

Fitted sheets — or any sheet for that matter — are beyond its capabilities. So are hoodies, coats and bulky jumpers.

Worst of all — you still have to feed the clothes in. Yourself.

One by one. Standing there, placing them in flat, in a time only fractionally less than it would take to fold the damn shirt or pants yourself.

Perhaps we’re being too harsh. After all, there is some merit in a machine whose sole purpose in life is to fold washing. Even if it is the size of a top-loader washing machine.

Certainly the nice people at FoldiMate think so. They came up with this new, sleeker version after generating plenty of buzz with the first incarnation last year.

They say it’s so easy to operate “kids will be fighting to do it”.

Perhaps adding unlimited internet to the next version will make it truly child-friendly.

They also say it’s designed to fit in any room — although the fact it looks like a bulky combined office photocopier and printer mean it doesn’t exactly fit perched in the lounge room.

Personally, I’ll be keeping my $1200 until it can sort, fold, iron, pack, take out the garbage, clean the loo and whip up dinner.

That would be the UltiMate.

The FoldiMate is about the size of a top-load washer. And wouldn’t look out of place in the home office.

Available here: foldimate

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