This is my yearly call to manufacturers of washers, dryers, and clothing to please put a washing NFC style identifying tag into play. What’s this for? To prevent accidentally shrinking clothing by washing or drying incorrectly.
Throwing a bunch of clothing into the washing machine and about to run it on sanitary/steam and there’s something that’ll destroy? Washing machine should tell you. About to throw your wife’s brand new 100% never shrunk cotton shirt she loves into the dryer? Nope – dryer will tell you there’s a “do not dry” in the bin.
Take it to the next level if you want with a kid-wand – dropped off kid with this set of clothing, got kid back without this particular item. If the washing tags contained a serial number, lost and found at schools could be simplified and those lost sweater finds could be emailed to parents.
I know this can be done, and with NFC type tech you should be able to pretty much rule out long range scanning and tracking and most privacy concerns. You’ll also sell a hell of a lot of dryers to people who regularly shrink $80 worth of clothing.
All the tag needs to do is have a unique serial number if you want to go the internet connected washer/dryer. If you wanted to get a bit fancier washing instructions. Fancier actual contact information, although at that point probably want a backend service to manage privacy concerns. I really believe we’re talking about maybe 20 bytes of data needed for any purpose I can conceive of.
So yeah, washable NFC and either scanning wands or preferably drum-based scanning to verify nothing in the drum is going to be screwed up.
Also should anyone wish to donate to Paul’s replacing his wife’s shirt that got shrunk last week, there’s a bitcoin/paypal/etc link somewhere.