Engadget posted a story about a guy who hacked his washing machine and got it to tweet (send a message via Twitter) when a load of wash is done. Here’s the Twitter account for PiMPY3WASH, which I’m now following.
I guess it’s possible this is a true story. I’m married to a guy who can install Linux (I mean NetBSD) on practically anything. But I’m suspicious about this story for one reason: there’s too much laundry being done. There were 3 loads done on December 30 and two loads on December 29. That’s too much laundry, especially for a guy (no offense, guys!).
However, I’m excited about the idea of appliances and gadgets communicating with humans. If I had the engineering chops, I would design the following:
- A refrigerator with a special slot(s) for milk. When the fridge detects that we are low on milk (based on weight?), a text message would be sent to my phone. I don’t want e-mail or a tweet, I get too much data on those devices. But a text message, preferably scheduled for around the time I’m driving home, would be perfect.
- A shopping cart that has an inventory of products that I can access with a touch screen. If I’m looking for pesto, I touch pasta sauce and the cart tells me which aisle to visit.
- A microwave that reads cooking instructions from the bar code on a package and cooks the food perfectly. (I think this is in the works but I haven’t seen it).
- An electronic recipe box on my fridge that lets me enter my own recipes as well as access and store recipes from my favorite Web sites. If the box would read the recipes and respond to voice commands, that would be gravy.
So Maytag, GE and KitchenAid, are you listening? How about you? What would be your dream gadget or appliance?