— Kim Wetzel (@kimdogg) January 7, 2019
If you’re like me, laundry folding is the worst of the worst when it comes to household chores. OK, maybe it’s not as bad as having to wash the toilet. But it’s still a pain in the you-know-what, especially when you have a big pile to deal with.
Foldimate, an automatic folding machine for laundry aims to make your life easier by doing most of the work for you. While the device appeared at CES last year as a non-functioning machine, at CES 2019 the company presented a working prototype with a slimmer design. We had the chance to take it for a spin, and while it worked well, I left the experience wondering: is this product really necessary?
Before arriving at this, however, here is an explicator on how it works: the device is about four feet high. Put a t-shirt or a pair of pants in a pair of clips on each end of a tray that grabs the item of clothing and pulls it in into the machine. The machine then magically folds each object, spitting it into a perfectly folded stack on a tray at the bottom of the device. It takes about 10-15 seconds for a shirt or pair of pants.
To be clear, I didn’t put my clothes in the machine (no, I’m not going to take my laundry to the CES floor), but I relied on the clothing provided at the Foldimate stand. The device easily sucked up objects and spat a pile of well-folded clothes.
There are limits to what you can put in Foldimate: it will not accept bedsheets or underwear, and if you are looking for someone who magically mates all those bonus socks in your drawer, you are unlucky. I should also add that this appliance will not be cheap: the price is provisionally set at $ 960 with a release date of around the end of 2019.
So, back to the original question: do we really need this device? I published a short video of Foldimate in action on my Facebook wall our YouTube Channel and I asked this question. And as it happens, many viewers responded with a resounding “Yes!”
“Hell yeah,” wrote @Jake_fromKC. “This is all I hate for laundry, solved.”
Other viewers, though, not so much. Some have noticed that this device tries to solve a problem that is not really a problem. Others disagree, pointing out that Foldimate would be an excellent help for lazy people or people with disabilities, which is a very valid point.
So, after seeing this machine in use, I find that I agree with all those that have been evaluated on a Twitter post about the machine. Yes, it’s beautiful. Yes, maybe it is a bit of a stranger. Yes, it is solving a problem that does not exist. And yes, it certainly could help people with disabilities. In other words, it’s at CES 2019 right at home, where some of the technologies are about the fantastic, strange gadgets that are both impressive and often quite useless.
Less time for laundry
FoldiMate saves a lot of time that is lost every day to fold clothes. Sunnyvale ensures that the robot is able to fold between 20 – 40 clothes within 4 minutes. Unfortunately for the moment, FoldiMate is unable to fold all the clothes inside the robot: it has a great feeling with shirts, towels, trousers, pillowcases, and t-shirts, but it has a big problem with hooded sweatshirts, linen intimate (too small), socks and baby clothes. But the next versions of the robot will try to solve this problem too. The dimensions are rather contained: 125cm in height, 60cm in width and 70cm in depth. More or less the same size as a washing machine.
Would I buy one? Maybe if the price goes down, and if it’s updated so that users can simply throw all their laundry at once rather than feed the machine one shirt at a time. Until then, I think I’ll have to stick with the old-fashioned way of folding my clothes.
Price and availability FoldiMate
At CES 2018 the company announced that the first FoldiMate models will be shipped in the last quarter of 2019. The list price is $ 980, but varies depending on shipping prices. Sunnyvale has also announced a partnership for the European market with BSH, the company that makes household appliances in Europe for Bosch and Siemens.
You can also Buy Steam Pressing Machine to iron your laundry with ease.