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Laundry basket input scanner

Saved from destruction ....
  [vote for,

The Laundry Basket Input scanner is a must for the absent-minded.

The Scanner is a portable mains-powered unit that clips around the rim of a laundry basket. It comes in a variety of standard sizes and shapes to fit most standard laundry baskets, and is supplied with a lightweight tripod frame which allows it to operate in a stand-alone mode if required.

On removing one's clothing, simply drop it through the top of the scanner. An array of non-contact sensors (capacitative, inductive and optical ) situated around the rim performs an analysis of the garment as it falls; the software is programmed to ignore all common fabrics and accessories (buttons and zips) but will activate an audible and visual signal if the system senses any of

- money (paper and coins) - floppy disks - used tissues - post-it notes with vital phone numbers scribbled on them - writing instruments - confectionary - mobile phone batteries - cartridge fuses - mechanical fixings - tools - credit or ID cards

The main object of the device is to alleviate the stress caused by hearing the persistant tick.....tick......tick from a washing machie which idicates to the user that an undesired object is at that very moment enjoying the benefit of a 65 degree wash with detergent.

Note: The magnetic field in the device is deliberately very weak, to mimimise the risk of accidentally degaussing magnetic media.

8th of 7, Sep 10 2002


       It would be quite nice if it could recognise and sort different types of clothing, as well - seperate your whites and your darks for you..
yamahito, Sep 10 2002

       Ah, you want the DeLuxe model with the AutoSorter system - that's in development.
8th of 7, Sep 10 2002

       Some may wish an option for collar lipstick checking and foreign DNA hair analysis.
FarmerJohn, Sep 10 2002

       I think being able to tell what color it is is a lot more feasable. What kind of magic detectors find tissues or money? Or sense that you left a candy bar in your pocket.   

       Boned for magic, and [Marked-For-Deletion], for the same reason.
StarChaser, Sep 11 2002

       It seems somewhat doable. Tissues might be a stretch, but surely most of the other things are sense-able? I'd be hesitant on that mfd, SC.
waugsqueke, Sep 11 2002

       what waugs said. Credit cards would be doable - you could even make it tell you which cards were in there, with a little training. Keys and coins are so simple it's not worth talking about, and the same methods cover batteries and fuses. As for the pens and post it notes - how about adding a trace element to the ink you use? Or (possibly) using one that's already there? Difficult to do, but not impossible..   

       Tissue paper and confectionary I'll give you - but the first doesn't make much mess (I find it just clumps), and I can't believe that 8th ever leaves more than a chocolate bar wrapper.. ;op
yamahito, Sep 11 2002

       Anything metallic is easy but the tissues are a pain. They're cellulose and very similar to the material the garment is made from. NMR could probably do it but the high magnetic fields would be instant death to any floppy disks; neutron absorbance spectroscopy is a possibility but needs a small nuclear reactor to produce the collimated neutron beam. XRF or XRD analysis is possible but less sensitive to the target materials.   

       PET could be used if the tissues were doped with a tracer, but the idea would be to scan for unmodified materials. I'd welcome further suggestions.....   

       I dispute the "magic" accusation. Eight of the twelve target categories I proposed can be detected by existing means.
8th of 7, Sep 11 2002


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