Back in 2018, Foldimate was one of two laundry-folding machines exhibiting at CES that promised to make folding clothes a thing of the past. It was up against Laundroid, a $16,000 AI-powered machine that was supposed to analyze each clothing item and figure out the best way to fold it using AI. Neither machine worked at the time— Foldimate’s model was a non-working prototype, and I accidentally broke the Laundroid when I confused the machine’s AI with a black T-shirt. This year, Foldimate is the sole laundry-folding machine at CES, returning for the third time with a fully working prototype.
I clipped in my Verge T-shirt to the machine, which pulled in the shirt and produced a neatly folded shirt in about five seconds. Foldimate says that you can fold an entire load of laundry in about five minutes, which includes collared shirts, pants, and medium-sized towels. It won’t be able to fold smaller clothes like baby items or oversized bed linens, but still, it’s a start. If I’ve learned anything from Marie Kondo, it’s that folding my laundry is the first step to fixing my (imaginary) dysfunctional marriage.
Foldimate’s availability is still up in the air, as the company enters the costly manufacturing process. The company says it’s working to keep the machine under $1,000, which is still a pretty big investment for a home (especially if it doesn’t have too much space), but the machine could be useful in retail spaces and laundromats. Still, the most impressive part about Foldimate is that it’s now closer to escaping CES vaporware territory, and I’m eating my (neatly folded) shorts now.