GE Profile just announced its Top Load 900 series with Amazon’s Alexa built in, allowing owners to use their voice for playing music and checking the weather. According to GE, the smart washing machine can even tailor the laundry cycle for certain fabrics like cashmere or jeans as well as target specific stains by commanding Alexa to wash “chocolate” or “pinot noir.”
Fancy features — Gratuitous voice features aside, the Top Load 900 is still a premium washing machine. It does offer certain features mean to remove the guesswork of doing laundry. It’ll optimize the wash cycle so you don’t end up destroying delicate fabrics with its Enhanced Smarter Wash Technology. The washing machine also has Smart Wash and Smart Rinse features that use sensors to measure the soil and detergent levels to detect when your clothes are clean.
There’s even a Smart Dispense feature that holds up to 50 ounces of detergent and dispenses exactly the right amount for the load. In a way, that feature also feels excessive, though, since you can probably eyeball more or less detergent depending how dirty your laundry load is.
One feature I can get behind with the Top Load 900 washer is that it can tackle a small load with a one-step wash and dry process so you never need to transfer your wet laundry to a dryer. Washer/dryer combos tend to struggle on the latter half of that process, however, so it remains to be seen how much of a feature the dual-function really is.
We’ve gone too far — GE says the washer’s design came from consumers wanting a more personalized and smarter laundry experience. To that end, I say laundry will always be a chore, and the only way to make a chore better is by making the process less tedious. There’s no need to make it fun or drag it on with extra smart tech.
Call me old-fashioned, but I think smart appliance should actually tackle the aspects that make chores a drag, not just tweak how many buttons we need to press. Call me when a washing machine can fold my laundry, too. If yelling at appliances is your thing, the Top Load 900 is already available at retailers nationwide for $1,299.