The Internet of Things craze has gotten slightly out of hand at times (connected toilet or coffee pot, anyone?). But former Apple "product guy" Glenn Reid wants to produce a connected device that's actually worthwhile: a washer-dryer.
Now, you may be asking - as Reid did - is a connected washer-dryer really any better than a traditional model? Reid seems to think so, and Wired writer Brian Barrett seems to agree.
First, the machine washes and dries in a single unit, which, Barrett writes, is nothing new. It costs $1,200 - about the same as any other decent single-unit washer-dryer - so you're not paying additional for the smart features. And the machine still performs its intended functions without being connected. Barrett explains the smart functions and how they might progress over time:
The Marathon Laundry machine proposition is actually pretty simple. It washes and dries in one device, and has other features if and when you need them. Tracking energy usage? Check. User profiles that remember individual preferences? Sure. Coordinating with smart grids to run your laundry when electricity is cheapest, saving you money and relieving strain on our overtaxed utilities? Er…
Someday. Maybe. Depends. Smart grids don’t exist in any meaningful quantity yet, but if they ever do, Marathon Laundry will be ready.
Beyond this washer-dryer and the hopeful advent of the smart-grid, Reid wants to take his company even further, suggesting we move past the smart hub and into smart things.
“Right now everybody has the hub being smart and the thing being dumb,” he tells Barrett. “Furnaces are still dumb, and Nests are smart. It’s possible that you’d rather the furnace was smart, and went straight to the Internet and went around the Nest. The furnace knows more about being a furnace than a Nest does.”