Fridges talk to washing machines at high-tech fair

Mar 03, 2010
A woman walks past an advertising poster at the world's biggest high-tech fair, the CeBIT in the northern German city of Hanover. A fridge that talks to your washing machine and a television that instructs your dishwasher. It's all possible at CeBIT, the world's top high-tech fair.

A fridge that talks to your washing machine and a television that instructs your dishwasher. It's all possible at CeBIT, the world's top high-tech fair.

But the question is: what's the point?

"Well, for example, you could be sitting on your sofa in your living room and you want to turn on your washing machine," said Christian Prause, a developer of the yet-to-be finalised "Hydra" software.

"If your is equipped with our technology, you can send a message to the washing machine to turn itself on."

"And if for whatever reason it doesn't work, you can ask your fridge to transmit the order to the ," he added.

Prause said vacationers too need not panic if they realise they leave home in haste.

"Imagine you are 200 kilometres (130 miles) away, on holiday, and you realised you have forgotten to close your curtains."

Not to worry. You can send a quick text message to your curtain . If that doesn't work, you can always get your or your radio to lend a hand.

The fruit of four years of research by 10 different partners, including the German Fraunhofer Institute, the Hydra project is financially supported by the European Union.

Hydra "saves you time, energy and hassle," Prause insisted. With a bit of luck, "such a system could perhaps eventually appear in the shops."

Explore further: Cyclist's helmet, Volvo car to communicate for safety

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User comments : 3

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not rated yet Mar 03, 2010
It must be a slow news week.

How about a GPS that talks to my cruise control?
No? perhaps a pantry cupboard that talks to the oven.

Maybe I should talk to someone and get my life back!

Let's keep science sensible.
Mar 03, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
not rated yet Mar 04, 2010
I'd guess this stuff is good for implementation in the SmartGrid.

Another excuse for being lazy in this article tho, shame.
not rated yet Mar 04, 2010
I love this example:

"Well, for example, you could be sitting on your sofa in your living room and you want to turn on your washing machine,"

"Honey I keep turning on the washing machine but my clothes aren't getting any cleaner!!"

"Maybe you need to get up and put your clothes into the washer first, duh"

Of course, one could imagine a hamper-chute system which, upon command, deposits the dirty clothes into the washer (maybe a robot arm to help stuff the clothes in and pick up the socks that fell to the floor.

Now you need to dry the clothes.

It's a start I suppose.

Of course, the invention in the article will not save us from this:


Now if we could all learn to talk to each other...

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