We can all agree agree that laundry is a dreaded and time-consuming household chore. Taking a few hours out of your day to move your clothes between the washer and dryer is inconvenient as it is, but folding is the most tedious part. Luckily there’s a new machine that promises to do that for you.
Called the FoldiMate, it claims to fold your laundry in half the time it would take for you to do it manually. Here’s how they say it works: all you have to do is clip each piece of clothing onto the FoldiMate rack, and within 10 seconds, the machine’s conveyor belt, robotic arms, and adjustable tray will produce a perfectly-folded garment. FoldiMate also boasts steaming, de-wrinkling, and “softening” features that add a nice finishing touch to the folding duties.
At 32 inches tall and 28 inches wide, the FoldiMate may be compact enough to be the third machine in your laundry room. If it doesn’t fit, its 65-pound weight makes it not-impossible (although that seems heavy?) to transport to other parts of the home. After clipping individual garments to the rack, the user will refer to a series of buttons that helps the machine detect the size, fabric, and thickness of the garment to carry out the best fold. The goal is to deliver those crisp, department store folds every time.
While the FoldiMate’s mission strategically taps into an interesting niche, the machine leaves us out to dry in a few different respects. I don’t know about you guys, but pairing and folding socks is the most annoying part of the laundry folding process for me. The FoldiMate can’t help you there, unfortunately: only shirts, towels, pants, and pillowcases can be folded. In addition, you still have to take the time to clip the clothing to the FoldiMate rack, which can only hold 15-20 garments at a time. If only there were a machine that could automatically move clothes from the dryer to the folding phase.
CEO Gal Rozov was inspired to create the FoldiMate after he became fed up with time spent folding laundry instead of with his family, according to a FoldiMate representative’s email. For that reason Rozov has marketed the product to families with the hefty claim that the time saved by using a FoldiMate is going to alleviate marital tensions. Folding laundry is pretty vexing, but linking it to struggling marriages is a bit of a stretch.
One could argue that the invention is yet another incentive to be lazier, but FoldiMate’s assures that its mission is to allocate time for other activities, not nothing. “I don’t think any of us in the company think people will become lazier by using FoldiMate. We would just all prefer to be doing something else,” the representative wrote.
With preorders starting in 2017 and first shipments set for 2018, the FoldiMate is going to cost you a pretty penny at $850. Depending on how much you dread folding your laundry, that number could be totally worth it or confirmation that you’ll be folding your laundry with your own hands for the rest of your life. That is until a machine that can fold socks surfaces. Then maybe you’ll reconsider.