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Thursday, 4 April, 2002, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Talking washing machine hits India
Electrolux washing machine
Electrolux expects strong demand from young Indians
Electrolux will launch a talking washing machine, known as the Washy Talky, in India later this month.


The target market is the slightly above average affluent family and also young people who have moved away from the main family home and who are setting up from themselves

Tom Wells
Electrolux
The top-loader speaks in a soft, Indian middle-class female accent and uses 90 different phrases in Hindi and English, gently giving instructions like "drop the detergent, close the lid and relax".

To the accompaniment of a tinkling of piano or trumpet fanfare, it also tells the user it is "getting ready, please wait".

Electrolux expects strong demand as more young Indian men and women are now leaving home before marriage than in the previous generations.

Young customers

"The Washy Talky was created specifically for the Indian market," Tom Wells of Electrolux UK told the BBC.

"The target market is the slightly above average affluent family and also young people who have moved away from the main family home and who are setting up from themselves," he said.

The washer does more than just talk. It can also make decisions.

Using a type of artificial intelligence called 'fuzzy logic', the machine senses the load weight and chooses the optimum programme.

Electrolux has no plans to market the machine internationally, but is not ruling it out.

"If there is strong demand for it elsewhere then we'll certainly look at introducing it elsewhere," Mr Wells said.

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 ON THIS STORY
Tom Wells, Electrolux UK
"The washy talky was created specifically for the Indian market."
Electrolux Washy Talky washing machine
"Drop the detergent, close the lid and relax."
See also:

14 Dec 01 | Business
Electrolux to cut 2,800 jobs
26 Oct 01 | Business
Electrolux profits halved
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