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In a world where many of us feel as though we never have enough time to achieve all our goals for the week, we often look for ways to make our chores quicker or more enjoyable. Many companies are therefore seeing an increasing gap in the market and designing innovative technology with the aim of giving us more time to spend with loved ones or on hobbies, as opposed to doing the chores such as vacuuming or ironing.

Indeed, Panasonic have found that one of the most common reasons for couples to argue is over the laundry. Sometimes it’s easier to shut the door on a laundry full of washing waiting to be folded, especially when there are other, more exciting things to be doing. Whilst it’s been many years since most of us had to wash our clothes by hand, folding and ironing clothes is still a manual task that takes up a fair amount of our free time. With an average family of four generating around eight loads of laundry a week, sorting and folding all this certainly takes up a fair chunk of time over the week.

If you’ve ever regularly used a dry cleaning or laundry service, you’ll know how lovely it is to receive your clean washing all beautifully pressed and folded ready to be hung up in your wardrobes or put away in drawers. For whilst some people genuinely enjoy folding clothes ready to put away, for others who know they have two or three washing baskets of clothes to get through over the weekend or in the evenings, it is very much a necessary evil.

So it’s really no surprise then that high-end cleaning companies in London have reported that requests for their services have doubled over the past year. The majority of clients tend to be thirty to forty-year-old women with families. Many younger people also find both folding laundry and ironing a frustrating and boring necessity, with the trend for non-ironed and crumpled clothes increasing. If you work in a professional environment, though, then it’s very likely you will wear a shirt or blouse to work pretty frequently and you can’t always get away without looking well presented.

FoldiMate have sensed this growing market and invented a household folding machine which, at roughly the same size as your washing machine will easily integrate itself into your laundry room. The idea is that you clip washed and dried items into the rack, which takes approximately five seconds per item. Once you’ve clipped the clothes in, you tell FoldiMate what type of clothing the items are using the menu, then your task is over and it’s up to FoldiMate to do the rest whilst you sit back and relax. The machine takes 10 seconds to fold each item, with an optional de-wrinkling programme which takes 20 – 30 seconds per item. You can even add capsules which can soften, perfume and sanitize your clothes. The overall time is takes to have a pile of clean and freshly folded clothes is estimated to be roughly two times less than manually folding the same amount.

At the moment, FoldiMate can’t deal with small or large items, so you’ll still be left with the bath towels, sheets and the joys of pairing up those pesky socks. Unfortunately you also have to load the clothes onto the folding clips, and be prepared to do this a few times per washing load. Also, if you’re really after a crisply ironed shirt, then FoldiMate does not yet replace ironing completely. But it’s certainly a step in the right direction for those of us with large families and piles and piles of clothes waiting to be folded.

FoldiMate have had a commercial version of the machine available since 2014, which might give those who are unsure about the technology some confidence. FoldiMate is currently on pre-order, with the first units likely to ship sometime in 2017. You can reserve one now with 10% discount. With the price expected to be around $700 to $850, it might seem like an expensive investment. But if you live in a home where you already enjoy many other modern conveniences which bear the brunt of those more tedious household chores, then it’s only a matter of time before you’d be looking for a device to bring revolutionary technology to your laundry room. FoldiMate does just that.

Top image: Graphics of FoldiMate. (YouTube)

References

FoldiMate - https://www.foldimate.com/

People cannot wait to pay $800 for a laundry-folding robot - https://qz.com/700500/people-cannot-wait-to-pay-800-for-a-laundry-folding-robot/

FoldiMate – The Laundry Folding Machine - http://thegadgetflow.com/portfolio/foldimate-laundry-folding-machine/

Laundry Tops List of Heated Arguments Among Couples - http://relationships.femalefirst.co.uk/relationships/laundry-tops-list-of-heating-arguments-among-couples-296909.html

The $850 gadget that can fold your laundry perfectly with robot arms and even steam out creases - and all in under a minute - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3622491/The-850-gadget-folds-laundry-robot-armsand-steam-creases-minute.html

Ask Unclutterer: How many hours will a family of four spend on laundry each week? - https://unclutterer.com/2009/01/30/ask-unclutterer-how-many-hours-will-a-family-of-four-spend-on-laundry-each-week/

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Emma Stenhouse, MSc

Emma qualified with a BSc (Hons) in Equine Science in 2003 and has had a passion for horses since a young age. She continued her academic career with an MSc in Applied Marine Science, gained in 2004. Emma’s main scientific focus was the navigational techniques of sea turtles and whether they use the acoustics of the surf-zone as a cue for nesting. She then worked for a sea turtle conservation project on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica before travelling to New Zealand where she worked as a Mari...Read More

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