Would you pay a thousand dollars to never have to fold your own laundry again? Folding laundry is inarguably the worst part of the laundry experience. If you’re like me you just jam as many clothes as you can into one washing machine load irrespective of color, turn the water to cold, and then when that’s finished you throw it all into the dryer and come back fifty minutes later. Laundry folding takes longer than all of that combined. The tedium of folding clothes is what keeps me from doing my laundry more than once every three weeks.
So hell yeah I’d pay a thousand dollars to never spend an evening folding laundry again. The problem is, I’m not sure that this machine — The FoldiMate — is the answer. Yeah, it’s a “laundry folding machine” insomuch as it literally folds clothes for you. But it still appears to require supervision and interaction. You have to feed the clothes into it. This is like getting a robot butler that you have to pilot with an X-Box controller. It still feels like I’m expected to do a lot of the work here. A real automatic laundry-folding robot would afford me the luxury of sitting on the sofa in front of the TV with one hand in my pants and the other scrolling through Instagram. I call shenanigans.
The FoldiMate made its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and its launch date is set for later this year. The FoldiMate can fold t-shirts, pants, bath towels, bed sheets, fitted sheets, and pillowcases. Basically, any clothing item sized for a six-year-old all the way to adult size XXL clothes. (No baby clothes, though.)
The model that debuted at CES 2019 stands about four feet tall and its target price is $980. If you think the FoldiMate will fulfill your laundry folding needs there’s a pre-order waitlist you sign up for so that you don’t have to keep checking for a release date.
A lot of people will probably love the FoldiMate, but this doesn’t quite seem like the laundry room upgrade I’m looking for. It’s 2019. At this point I expect my tech innovation to basically seem like it’s magic or GTFO. I want to wake up and shout at my smart home, “Hey Alexa, do my laundry, make me a cup of coffee, play The Office on Netflix, wash my body, and feed me yum yums!”
And then I expect all that to instantly happen.
Am I spoiled? Yeah. Absolutely. I want to live like the blob humans in Wall-E. But don’t give me a taste of the future and then expect to go back to living the backbreaking life of some sort of medieval serf (which is what I now consider living in 1996 to be like).
This story was originally published January 15, 2019.