A quest to find irons that detect burning cloth

I burnt the cloth on my ironing board over the weekend. There’s a nice big mark, shaped like an iron, on the otherwise unburnt cloth. It’ll serve as a reminder to not leave the iron face down on my board or anything I’m ironing. But, I want more.

This got me thinking about whether it would be possible to create an iron that’ll either warn you or shut itself off if you try to burn cloth (or any other material)? My thinking was that it should be, but I’m not much of an inventor

But, if we have irons that steam our clothes and have fancy shapes, surely we should have irons that prevent what is probably one of the most common ways of burning something.

It turns out that there is such a product. While looking for images, I found a product called Oliso Steam Iron. (No, they’re not paying me plug their product.) Here’s what their website says about their Auto-Lift System™:

Touch the Oliso Steam Iron’s handle, and the iron instantaneously lowers onto your ironing. When you let go, special lifters raise the iron safely above the fabric. These lifters disappear into the soleplate when you iron, and won’t snag or burn even the most delicate fabrics.

The reviews on Amazon are mixed, but it does seem like an innovative product.

I also checked if Ideo, the iconic design firm known for its innovation, designed any irons that do this sort of thing. They did design an iron (called Fat Billy) but the design didn’t make it into production.

Still, it’s cool to know that there are designers out there who’re thinking about the users of their products.


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