Creating a Smart Iron

Did you know that there are entire realms of high-tech ironing equipment out there? There are, and the Swiss company LauraStar manufactures them. Recently, the company teamed up with Cambridge Consultants, a Boston, MA–based design and technology consulting firm to create a new "smart" ironing system, one that incorporates intelligent sensing and electronics.

The trick with irons, you see, is steam delivery. Steam is used to remove creases in fabric, but since damp fabrics are just as likely to crease again, you need to apply a dose of dry heat to "set" the fabric in a lovely, uncreased state.

For LauraStar's automatic steam function, Cambridge Consultants used two half-bridge strain gauges built into the iron's handle and a purpose-designed control system to allow the iron to detect movement. If the iron senses forward motion, it signals the steam production system to deliver steam; as soon as the iron stops moving or moves backward, the steam shuts off, all within a millisecond. Adding a ventilation system to the ironing board lets the iron glide on a wave of air, preventing creasing and eliminating steam marks.


Sensors 2019 Hits Silicon Valley June 25-27!

Join 7,000+ engineers this June in San Jose at the sensor industry’s biggest event! With 65+ Technical Sessions, 100+ Leading Speakers, 10 new and updated tracks, and 300+ Interactive Exhibits, there’s more opportunity than ever to connect with this booming industry and the technologies driving it. See thousands of the newest technologies in action, learn about the latest applications, and develop invaluable partnerships at the only event dedicated to sensors, connectivity, and systems.

I know I'll never look at my iron in quite the same way again.

Contact Andrew Diston, Cambridge Consultants, Boston, MA; 978-685-3136, [email protected], Or contact Groupe LauraStar S.A., Châtel St Denis, Switzerland; 41-(0)21-948-21-00,

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