Key to the machine's capabilities is a robust 32-bit microcontroller.

The machine that reads your laundry labels

A washing machine that knows what kind of laundry has been loaded and chooses the best wash programme was on show at Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany, last month.

NXP Semiconductors showcased the RFID- and NFC-enabled demonstrator to highlight what can be achieved with wireless communications.

The washing machine reads information about the fabric type and colour from RFID-tagged buttons and optimises the washing programme to suit the load and the detergent used.

Using an NFC-enabled phone, a maintenance technician can perform diagnostics onsite, change the machine’s status, upgrade firmware, and launch an app that communicates directly with the manufacturer’s service centre.

“Major home appliances are becoming ‘smarter’ – yet we’ve only started to explore the possibilities when it comes to two-way communication,” said NXP’s Jan Willem Vogel.

The demonstrator features a 32-bit microcontroller based on the ARM Cortex-M0 processor. The same LPC1227 microcontroller is used not only for system management, but also to run software stacks for power monitoring, NFC and RFID and to drive and control multiple loads in the washing machine, including the motor.

Further information:

Watch a demo of the washing machine.

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