The FoldiMate was first introduced at last year’s CES to a surprising amount of interest, racking up 8,000 pre-order reservations according to the company’s blog. I say “surprising” because it was a laundry-folding machine that was expected to cost around $850 and took up about as much space as an actual washer. Now the company has just opened up “early pre-order deposits” for its latest version, which is expected to be available at the end of 2019 through a partnership with European home appliances group BSH. The new model aims for a target price of $980 and features a sleeker redesign, though it’s still just as huge.
FoldiMate can fold shirts, buttoned-up blouses, and pants from children’s clothes to adult size XXL. The new model can now fold towels and pillowcases, though socks and undergarments are still strictly off the menu. And you’re way out of luck if your wardrobe consists of baby clothes and bulky hoodies. Watch the video below to get a sense of how it works:
The previous FoldiMate model featured de-wrinkling and fragrance add-ons, which have now been sacrificed for better folding technology. FoldiMate boasts that you can fold an average laundry load of 20-40 items in two to four minutes, but that’s giving the machine way too much credit when you have to do the work of individually clipping on each item. Though it looks kind of fun feeding a machine clothes like you would place a dollar bill into a hungry vending machine, the real convenience would be to dump your laundry load and have it sort out the clothes on its own.
But what do I know? I’m just a space-starved, coin laundromat-haunting New Yorker. For the rest of you, just place this behemoth of a machine that looks like an old photocopier anywhere in your home. Leave it in the family room while you hang out with your friends. So casual!!
Correction: Article updated to clarify that it’s not open for preorders, but early pre-order deposits, and that the BSH partnership is not finalized.