Self-cleaning solutions strike at the heart of white goods and detergent industries

We’re on a summer holiday with the family and I’m ‘thinking’ this article into my xPad. I’ve just had a challenging discussion with my ten-year-old grandson.

“Granddad, Mommy’s just told me that when you were young (in 2000) you used to wash your clothes by BOILING them!” His face was all screwed up at this (to him) crazy scenario.

“She said that you had a big white box with a window, like television, where you could watch your clothes zooming around!? Sometimes you would pour in BLUE GOOKY CHEMICALS so that clothes would come out clean!? And then, she said, you used to hang your clothes outside to dry? C’mon Granddad, please say this isn’t true!”

Well, I’m afraid so. But today’s children have of course never seen a washing machine. Ever since the advent of shape-memory fabrics a decade ago, many companies started offering instant-cleaning solutions like Sony’s ultra-sound device in 2015, and other breakthrough solutions from Philips, Electrolux and China’s Haier Group.

Today all of those products have been replaced by fabrics that literally self-clean and re-shape themselves. Some when exposed to sunlight, others on exposure to LED lights that can be set to emit just the right level of ‘cleaning-software’.

In 2010, none of the white-goods manufacturers would have believed that their industry could be decimated by new fabrics that have made washing machines, steam irons, detergents and wash-day additives absolutely irrelevant.

We have heard that the refrigerator too has less than two years of relevance left. Food and drinks are engineered to stay cool at any desired temperature. “Tell me again why we need a refrigerator, Granddad!?”

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.