At the Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas earlier this year, NXP demonstrated some of the advantages of a smart washing machine equipped with RFID. NXP loaded an RFID interface onto the appliance’s system management board for the purpose of clothes detection and maintenance benefits.
As explained in the video, when clothing items are tagged with RFID in the product care labels, the washing machine can detect which products were placed in the unit and suggest the proper washing cycle based on the garment’s care instructions. In addition, RFID sensors can send users an alert when a wash was complete and ready to move to the dryer. That would eliminate wet clothing sitting in the unit for too long, forcing it to be washed a second time, which is a waste of electricity and water.
Potential maintenance uses for RFID could include warranty management, tracking service performed on the unit, and sending messages to the manufacturer and appliance service providers when specific parts are about to fail. Service companies would love to get their hands on that data from appliance manufacturers. However, manufacturers have not yet determined the best way to be share revenues that would result from the increased maintenance work produced from the RFID alerts.