RFID- And NFC-Enabled Washer Makes "The Jetsons" Look Dated

smart_washerRemember those amazing space-age appliances in George and Judy Jetson’s home on the classic future-focused cartoon show The Jetsons?  Every day, more and more once impossible-sounding smart appliances only imagined on that old TV show are becoming familiar necessities in the modern household.  The latest in RFID and NFC technology is being used to create smart appliances that take the “work” out of “housework.”  Recently, NXP Semiconductors, a Dutch firm, debuted an RFID- and NFC-enabled washing machine that allows users to effortlessly tailor each wash cycle to the clothes inside.

 Imagine never turning another load of whites pink by accidentally selecting the wrong temperature setting or not sorting properly.  What if you never shrunk another expensive knit piece by choosing the wrong wash cycle?  How convenient would it be to have an NFC-enabled smartphone communicate with your washing machine, as well as the manufacturer, diagnosing and troubleshooting mechanical issues before they interrupt your daily chores?  These possibilities are becoming a reality thanks to the latest RFID and NFC technologies.  NXP Semiconductors’ latest entry to the “smart appliance” market is an RFID- and NFC-enabled washing machine that does all the tedious work for you and takes the guesswork out of every load.smart_washer_3

The value of energy efficiency cannot be overestimated.  In fact, in these challenging economic times, appliances that offer innovative energy-saving solutions are always competitive in a flooded market full of diverse offerings.  Integrating RFID and NFC technology allows home appliance producers to offer products that can monitor energy efficiency and transmit energy consumption figures to remote locations via wireless technology.

Encoding RFID information into buttons allows this particular smart washer to identify the fabrics and colors that make up the load and adjust water temperature and wash cycles to avoid damaging fabrics or bleeding colors.  RFID can also be encoded into laundry detergents and treatments in the future, allowing the washer to communicate not only with the clothes but also with the detergent, softener, and other additives consumers use to clean their clothing.  Authorized technicians can use NFC-enabled smartphones to read and analyze information from the machine during maintenance calls and then update and adjust the smart washer’s settings and firmware.

RFID and NFC technologies are revolutionizing hundreds of industries and making the way consumers interact with their home appliances different than they ever imagined.  The RFID- and NFC-enabled smart washer from NXP Semiconductors, recently debuted at the Embedded World exhibition in Nuremburg, Germany, is one of the developments that will give consumers more direct and interactive control of their domestic lives. 

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