Washing Machine Hack!

As mentioned recently, I love geeking out and have a list of projects I’d like to work on, given the time.

Washing machine hack tweets when it's finished.

In comments, Matt threw out a bunch of his own to-do projects, and professed his affinity for “mating the physical world with the interwebs”. You’ve probably heard about the plants that tweet by now.

Well, meet the next tweeting machine, literally: it’s a washing machine hack that tweets when it’s finished washing and also lights up a big LED display (like the one Matt has), in case you’re away from Twitter.

So. Freaking. Awesome.

Apparently, this clever guy, Ryan Rose, works at TiVo, a favorite of mine (and yours, admit it), hacked this together to address an issue most of us have faced at one time or another, mildewed laundry. Laundry is thankfully one of those tasks that you can start and leave to do other things; unfortunately, it’s really easy to forget about it completely, which leads to wet clothes sitting in the washer.

Not good. If you think this is just a geeky thing, I mentioned it to my un-geeky wife, and she was impressed. “That’s a great feature,” she said, “I hate rewashing clothes because I forgot them in the washer.” Not a direct quote, but the gist.

Appliance manufacturers have addressed this in a way; our washer and dryer chime when they’re finished. You can set the volume level too, which is nice. Even so, it’s easy to ignore the chime and subsequently forget. Obviously, this method does a better job of reminding you, even if you don’t use Twitter. That’s where the giant LED flashing “WASH DONE” comes in handy.

This is a great hack because with a network port and APIs, you should be able to do a lot of really cool things, like send a text message or even call a number over VoIP and play a recorded message.

Anyway, bravo to Ryan. Here’s the video of his hack.

If you’re so inclined, you can follow his washer on Twitter (@PiMPY3WASH) if you’re interested in how much wash he does. An interesting tidbit is that Whirlpool’s Twitter account follows his washer. Smart.

Anyway, just wanted to share this uber geeky hack. I love this stuff. If you’re interested, Mashable has an old list of other entities that tweet. I’m sure there are more now, but I haven’t see a list lately.

Sound off in the comments with your thoughts.



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