Is there anything worse than having to waste an evening hand-washing your clothes in a sink while on vacation? Absolutely not. So the creators of the Dolfi want their little contraption to do most of the work for you, passively scrubbing clothes clean using ultrasonic vibrations while you're sipping Mai Tais on a beach.
It looks like a tiny plastic bar of soap, but the Dolfi will still require you to use a detergent because its cleaning power actually comes from an ultrasonic transducer inside that creates incredibly subtle vibrations in a sink full of water. Those vibrations in turn produce very tiny bubbles, so the Dolfi's creators claim, that agitate a garment with enough force to dislodge dirt and grime as its broken down by a detergent.
Using the Dolfi is as simple as plugging it into an outlet and tossing it into a sink filled with warm water (we hope that power cord is extra sealed and insulated), detergent, and a garment that needs cleaning. It needs only about half an hour to sufficiently clean your clothing, after which you just need to rinse and hang. So it's not quite as easy as using a washer and dryer, but try packing those in your carry-on bag.
It sounds like a dream come true for frequent flyers who pack light and try to stretch what little clothes they do bring as far as possible. So if only the Dolfi were available for purchase. Unfortunately at this point it only exists as prototypes, and its creators are hoping an Indiegogo campaign launching on January 20 will help them raise enough funds, at $US90 a pop, to finalise the design and put the Dolfi into production.
The ultrasonic technology that powers the compact washer already exists and is widely used in humidifiers and decorative fountains. So the real hurdle here, like with most crowdfunded products, is navigating the treacherous waters of finding a company willing to actually build the Dolfi at its target price point, and getting it into backers' hands in a timely manner. It's those hurdles that have stymied many a Kickstarter and Indiegogo already, so hopefully the Dolfi manages to be the exception to what's becoming a disappointing rule. [Dolfi via PSFK]