When we talk about innovation in the world of laundry care, it is often more of an evolution than a revolution. But the WashPass concept unveiled by the Haier group (owner of the Italian Candy, among others) nevertheless suggests a new way of considering the acquisition and use of a washing machine.
In a few words, WashPass is a subscription that allows you to acquire a new device on long-term rental and to obtain the detergent directly from the manufacturer, again with a subscription system. This system already exists with some brands; you no longer buy your equipment, you rent it by paying a monthly payment, the amount of which includes the cost of the device itself, but also everything relating to maintenance and any repairs.
But this first subscription includes a second, oriented towards laundry and this one is much more original. The idea is not to acquire a refill of traditional detergent already mixed, but rather cans of active ingredients making up the detergent product; we find the principle of printer cartridges containing inks of different colors.
This innovation requires a somewhat special architecture of the device to accommodate the different cans. For now, the WashPass washing machine has no name. On the Haier stand, it was embodied by a black Candy Rapido Pro model, but the final form may be quite different. We know, however, that the location of the four cartridges is behind a pivoting front on the porthole.
According to officials present at the Haier stand, breaking down the detergent makes it possible to adapt the formula according to the type of textile to be washed, its degree of soiling or the weight of the load. For example, on white household linen, the washing machine would be able to add a surplus of bleaching agents to keep the fabrics shiny. In the event of a lightly soiled load, the algorithm would limit the supply of washing formula. And for a half-load, the amount of detergents could be adjusted as precisely as possible. Many other mixtures are of course possible. Still according to Haier, this technology would not only have the advantage of preserving textile fibres, but also our wallets and above all nature by limiting the rejection of useless chemical formulas.
Is it necessary to specify that behind these mixtures hides an artificial intelligence and a technology of deep learning so that the formulas are as effective as possible? The use of IOT should also be included because, even on the most sophisticated models, the current control panels for washing machines are, after all, very limited. It is therefore a safe bet that a connection to a smartphone will be mandatory to take advantage of the WashPass subscription, if only to receive alerts in the event of a refill soon to be empty or to be able to order one.
Obviously, this solution is also interesting for the manufacturer who attaches the loyalty of his customer by renting the washing machine, of course, but also by supplying it with consumables. Indeed, even if the WashPass washing machine (in any case, the one that was presented) still has a traditional detergent drawer that can be filled with any commercial brand, the goal is that the user buys in priority the proprietary canisters.
For now, the WashPass system is not yet priced. We don’t even know if it will finally be released. His presentation at the IFA was mainly aimed at taking the temperature of the public.