Hamper/Washer/Dryer

This concept comes from the Electrolux Design Lab competition, which invites graduate and undergraduate industrial design students to imagine innovative household ideas of the future. Specifically, the jurors want to see appliances that will shape how people prepare and store food, wash clothes, and do dishes over the next nine decades.

This iBasket took second place and was designed by Guopeng Liang of Tongji University in China. Here's how it works: During the week, you toss your dirty laundry into the basket. When it senses that it's full enough, it gets to work and washes your clothes, then dries them, then sends you an email telling you it's time to fold and put away your clothes.

Obviously, some challenges would arise. You might need several iBaskets to hold different types of washing, like whites, delicates and colors, that you wouldn't want all mixed together. But there is potential for a laborsaving hybrid appliance like this. Only the future will tell.