Monday, June 9, 2008

Washing Machines in 2017

I found myself trying to explain how different I thought things might be in the future, not Business as Usual, but what? For some reason I heard myself say "So take washing machines..." Having thought about it since, it's not such a bad example. So here is my text for an advert for a Washing Machine Upgrade in 2017. I am assuming an Enlightened Transition type scenario (no major economic shock and proactive moves to replace fossil-fuels. See

Everwash 2.0 Software Upgrade
- works with all our models
- includes API upgrade
- interface with home networks
- works with energy saving controllers version 1.0 and above
- new cycle for cold wash for use with Coolwash detergent.
- Include wash cycle for latest Gucci range of nanofibre range.
Upgrade cost €50 for machines over 3 years old.

Everwash washing machines available in 3 sizes
Every part can be replaced with parts available from local repair shop within 24 hours.
Running costs lowest on the market.
Lease cost €99/year with buy-back option after 10 years.
10% discount when you signup to our power package.


It is now expensive to make machines, so they are designed to be repaired quickly and cheaply using parts which can be made locally by a local fab shop. Designs for all parts are held online and are downloadable directly to the fab machine for a cost per download.

Rather than upgrading the machinery, companies make money by providing a servicing/leasing option and software upgrades. As most appliances are now supplied on a service basis, this gives the company every incentive to make the machine long lasting, easy to repair and easy to recycle.

The need to drive down the cost per wash has challenged fabric manufacturers and detergent company to come up with longer lasting fabrics that can be washed a low temperatures. These washes require special wash cycles. The software has been opened up to allow amateur washing machine hackers who now carry out much of the development of new code for the company. Where this custom software is used in new releases, the programmers get one of payments of €1000.

Washing machines can now link into the home intranet and be controlled from any computer or internet device (such as a phone) linked into the home network.

Appliances can now be controlled by power companies, where there are agreements with the household. This allows the power company to quickly dump load on unexpected peaks and to schedule non-urgent services, such as a machine wash, for low usage times. The appliance has an interface to allow the user to specify the urgency of the wash and/or the maximum they are prepared to pay for the wash.


Fab Labs -
Change from selling product to services - The Natural Step and Interface Carpets
Smart Metering and Energy Demand Management
The rise of the Amateur Professional - Charles Leadbetter Ted Talk

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