Is the Internet Of Things nearly complete? We have the smart TV, Refrigerator, Kettle and Cooker. The list goes on. Has there been a massive impact on our lives? One firm’s idea may clean things up a bit. Cloudwash is the prototype from London-based technology company Berg, whose business involves assisting other companies to connect their hardware.
The company created Cloudwash as part of research into there own platform. They reverse-engineered a Zanussi washing machine, connected it to the Internet and then created a different user interface for the device and a companion app.
Berg said in a blog post introducing the device, “Cloudwash represents an approach to thinking about connected products which isn’t reflected in the current crop of connected things.” They suggest that most connected white goods will either duplicate their existing controls inside an app, or embed Android OS in the product to run applications.
“Neither of these fulfils the promise of connected things,” suggested Berg. “Connectivity holds out promise for something really new, these machines can become something actually different. Cloudwash is an expression of our thoughts on how to make this stuff matter and some steps to something better.”
Cloudwash will send an alert to the owner before starting its final rinse and spin cycle, therby enabling them to delay it for whatever reason, this enables the cycle to finish just before they arrive home. Berg puts things this way, “an acknowledgement that the machine exists in time, and it can do more to fit in with how we live.”
“This is a key principle for us: sign in for laptops and phones doesn’t go far enough in accommodating small groups, strangers, or shared use. Connected products will have to do better. I don’t want to have to sign in to my kettle to make tea and I don’t want private media appearing in shared objects.” Cloudwash is designed to be used by anyone, whether that is “guests or temporary users”
Finally, there are in-app purchases, but not what you may think. Buttons on the machine will trigger reminders or purchases of detergent and conditioner from online retailer, Amazon. Berg says, “Amazon might supply a machine because the button orders the product of your choice over it’s Prime service. Or a Unilever or P&G might subsidise a machine, because it’s pre-sold with 500 washes worth of their detergent.”
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[Image via bergcloud]