Chinese electronics giant Haier was showcasing its green credentials at IFA 2010 with this human-powered washing machine. An exercise bike with a lithium-ion battery that collects energy as you pedal is hard wired to the front loading machine. When you pedal, you power the machine. Twenty minutes effort is said to give you one cold cycle wash without drawing power from the grid. It's an idea we've seen elsewhere in fledgling form – and its a good one. We'd love to see it get beyond prototype stage.
The rationale behind Haier's IFA display is that, like almost every major electronics manufacturer, it's keen to make consumers aware of its environmental commitment – the company points to a long history in this area having produced China's first CFC-free refrigerators in 1997. Being seen as green is a must in these times, and the flip-side is that saving energy also saves you money... the piggy bank pyramid is a subtle hint.
That's not to say that the human-powered washer is a total gimmick. Haier told us that it is gauging consumer response at the show and might consider bringing the idea to market.
Of course by the time you've sweated it out for 20 minutes you are going to have more clothes to wash.