Your are so correct, the list does go on. I think the key to the wireless concept is to have receivers attached to all household items family engaged with related to chores. The household chore monitoring system will send tweets to a smartphone when the item has been touched by a family member.
mrdon, I agree. If you have a house full of people(kids) with chores to do, how do you know they actually did them. Maybe more devices are needed? Maybe one to see if someone lifted the trashcan lid to take the trash out...was the vaccuum actually used.....was the cat litter changed? the list goes on. I know it does. :)
While this idea is nice it is in no way foolproof. First the sensor is a proximity sensor therefore as someone noted the software is programmed such that if the door is opened some duration of time (I think it was ~4.65 minutes) then the program would assume that all the dishes have been emptied otherwise it would detect whenever someone was in the proximity of the DW. Well if one thinks about this, it isn't very robust. Lets say your teenager is unloading the dishes and his/her iPhone rings just when they start unloading, well of course they will answer. They talk to their buddy for 5 minutes then come back and shut the DW door because they are in a hurry leaving a partially loaded dishwasher with the system now saying it is fully empty. The next person comes along with a dirty glass and sees that the DW can accept dirty dishes so they put the glass in. Now you have a DW with some clean and some dirty dishes.
If the designer did a DFMEA on his system he/she would have caught this and not used a proximity sensor with a time feature because it has a very high probability of failure. A better way to do this might be to use load sensors on the legs of the dishwasher (as someone noted) with a program that sets the weight of the DW with no dishes but it must also be after a wash cycle because there is always some residual water in the sump that adds some mass. Knowing that value, the program could then determine when the DW is empty of dishware. Of course even this isn't foolproof because the sensors have some tolerance which could make the system inaccurate to some degree, however I believe this would be a more precise way to accomplish this task. The other real question that must be asked is what is the cost of said system and is it something the consumer would be willing to pay for. Some thoughts from a DW engineer.
That is similar to the method (a sign) we use at home except we have 2 Post-It notes (Clean & Dirty). If I only take out a few dishes I leave the sign up. When the dishwasher is empty there is no sign and when we put in any dirty dishes the dirty post-it note goes up. Easy.
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