Janitha Karunaratne

I convert Caffeine in to Ideas and Code

RFID in Clothing

Washing cloths to be me is quite possibly the most boring and time consuming thing, and making this process faster is and optimal is on the top of my list. I hate shopping for cloths, so I expect the few cloths I do have (in which most are free from Lan Parties and other events) not to fade away and go to shit, so I take the daunting task of really reading what the stupid label says for each item. Then I thought, wouldn't it be nice if my washing machine can automatically select which ones need hot, and which are cold, seperation of color and whites, and which shouldn't be washed? The washing machine already selects the amount of water required and the detergent according to load it detects from weight, and also from density along with some other factors (how much they stink?). Then RFID's came to my mind.

It seems that the latest and the greatest thing lately is RFID. Their in your car keys, in your speed pass you use in the gas stations, garage door openers at various places, items in stores, and ideas stirring now to even include them in the RealID and other identification items a person carry with them. Simply RFID's are small integrated circuits connected to an antenna, which can respond to an interrogating RF signal with simple identifying information (source).

I have two ideas regarding this. First is all the clothing makers agree on attaching those RFID's with clothing infomation to each clothing item but then what will happen to your old cloths, or the second option is the washing machine to come with hundreds of small blank button or sticker RFID's where the user can program in the size of it, type of clothing, color, and washing condition along with other stuff seen on those annoying tags (I hate these tags so much). I would say the second option is the most realistic. Then the user simply clip on, superglue, or ductape that tag/button into the clothing item. Then when its time to wash them, you take it near the washing machine, and if you are about to put the wrong kind in it would automatically say "Nooo.. " so I would save it for the second round. Then once they are inside, it would automatically know what kind of clothing is in the washing machine, and put the right amount ot detergent and so on (no need to mess with those knobs anymore).

So I am asking you big washing machine makers, please make this idea a reality, and your efforts will be really appreciated by the millions of lazy college students and other people.