Drying laundry with… sound waves?

In a collaborative effort between GE and the US Department of Energy (DOE), researchers have developed a new type of clothes-drying technology. The new approach uses ultrasonic vibrations (basically sound waves) to more quickly remove moisture from residential laundry loads. The result, researchers claim, is a 5-fold gain in efficiency compared with traditional electric clothes dryers—a significant amount considering that clothes drying accounts for 4% of all residential energy consumption. Though this dryer is still in prototype phase, the DOE believes the new device can generate $900 million in consumer utility savings over 10 years and create over 6,000 new manufacturing jobs if the technology proves viable and is widely adopted.