The Voice of the washing machine


Talking machines look to be all the rage at the moment; last we gave you the talking vacuum cleaner and now we have a talking washing machine, the Zanussi-Electrolux Timeline ZWV1651S -Voice. Even better than the vacuum cleaner, this beauty doesn’t simply confirm your actions; it actually explains what the myriad of weird symbols adorning every washing machine mean. Apparently some clever chap at Zanussi-Electrolux realised that for years washing machine companies have put together a vast array of enormously complicated programmes, capable of taking clothes washing to new heights of efficiency and users have completely ignored them in favour of ’60 degrees – Cotton’. Now you can fearlessly flick through the different functions as the voice chips in with handy tips like “helps prevent creases to make ironing easier” and will prompt the user on what to do next like “Close the door”, “press the start button” and “don’t put that in with those whites”.

Speech aside this is a pretty fancy washing machine to boot. With a 7kg load limit and 1600 spin speed, the Voice also uses the Jetsystem Wash Technology. Plus there’s an LCD screen to set the functions on and given that there are 24 different programmes to use you’ll be glad of the soothing explanations that the machine will give you. There is also time saver and automatic half-load functions and it’s Energy Efficiency Recommended.

There’s sure to be more talking stuff coming soon and let’s hope they can start putting some character into them, perhaps a sarcastic iPod which comments on your music choice: “not that Killers crap again, put on some Franz Ferdinand you dullard”. Or maybe a boisterous fridge: “hey champ, looks like we’re running short on tinnies, better hit the off-license”. Of course the best choice would be the bread obsessed talking toaster of Red Dwarf fame…

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  • This is a light hearted article, but when are these dozy idiot designers going to stop over specifying machines and compromising usability. As with web design, a simple interface makes it accessible for all, including the disabled. Now hands up all those that use all those bloody settings on their microwave!?

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