Time to do your e-laundry

The home of the future is coming soon to Italy, starting with a digital washing machine. The unit can be remote-controlled by cellular phone or through the Internet, and will go on sale in Italy next week. It will cost about $US1200. But it won't do everything for you: it still must be loaded by hand.

The kitchen of the future will soon be complete, according to a spokesperson for Italian domestic appliances manufacturer Merloni Elettrodomestici SpA.

"They are putting the finishing touches to a digital cooker and fridge, which should be ready by March," says Merloni spokesperson Nadia Marcellini.

The fact that Merloni is exploring the digital revolution in housewares is not a surprise. The company's chief executive officer, Francesco Caio, is a former head of Italy's second-largest mobile phone operator, Omnitel Pronto Italia SpA. Within three years, about a third of Merloni's domestic appliances will have some sort of digital connection, Caio predicts.

The new washing machine, named Margherita2000.com, is controlled by a digital microprocessor and fitted with a GSM modem connecting it to the telephone network and to the Internet, according to Merloni representatives.

If you install a Margherita2000.com, you'll be able to check the status of the machine on your own private Web page, activate it remotely, and get e-mail and short messages sent from a cell phone, according to the company. The messages are shown on a fluorescent display on the machine.

Margherita2000.com uses Web Ready Appliances Protocol, a Merloni protocol, to communicate with its owner and with other kitchen appliances.

"In order to promote a rapid development of new technologies adapted for domestic appliances, we are inclined to make WRAP, which is an open technology and therefore particularly well suited to become a world standard, available to the market," Caio says in a prepared statement.

The machines can be serviced remotely, 24 hours a day, including software upgrades.

Caio is also touting a 10in touch screen Web browser dubbed "Leon@rdo", which can download cooking instructions from Merloni's Web site directly to the oven. The browser would let you adjust the refrigerator temperature or the washing machine's program. You could also leave messages for other members of the family on the appliances' displays.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Philip Willan

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?