University News

New app streamlines laundry process

Senior Staff Writer
Friday, November 16, 2012

LaundryView, an online application that allows users to see which washer and dryer machines are currently in use on campus, went live for all machines Tuesday.
The program features three-dimensional digital renderings of each laundry room – red, vibrating machines are in use, while white machines are unoccupied. The program also indicates how much time is remaining on each load of laundry.
The site offers an option to receive a text message or email when a load of laundry is finished.
Brown has joined peer institutions such as Harvard, Tufts University, Columbia, Cornell and Wesleyan University in bringing LaundryView to campus.
The site received 1,333 hits between when Morning Mail announced the launch at 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, said Richard Bova, senior associate dean of residential and dining services.
Bringing LaundryView to Brown has been under discussion since the previous Undergraduate Council of Students’ administration, Bova said.
The launch of LaundryView was a “natural kind of outcrop” of the Bear Bucks system, said Abby Braiman ’15, chair of the UCS Admissions and Student Services committee.
The University’s laundry contract expired over the summer, so it was renegotiated and completely digitized to coincide with the Bear Bucks upgrades, Braiman said. It was not viable to launch LaundryView under the old machine infrastructure, she added.
But between the new digital controller mechanism for Bear Bucks and the new laundry contract with the commercial laundry service Mac-Gray, which provides Ethernet connections, LaundryView was a natural development, Bova said. There was no extra cost associated with the program.
Braiman said she had hoped for the launch to occur just after Thanksgiving, but the transition went so smoothly that LaundryView went online early.
So far, there have not been any reported glitches in the system, Bova said.
“Students are finding it much more convenient,” Bova said of the move toward a more digitized system.
Yongha Kim ’15 said he did laundry just after he found out about the website. As a top floor resident of Vartan Gregorian Quad B, it can be a hassle to take laundry downstairs only to find all the machines occupied, he said.
He described it as a “necessity” because Brown does not have many laundry machines to begin with. Additionally, many residential halls are not equipped with elevators, Kim said, increasing the inconvenience of walking down a flight of stairs to do laundry without being certain of machine availability.
“I think they should have had it before,” he said.
Kim said he appreciated that the program shows exactly how much time remains on a load, unlike similar programs he had heard of at other schools.
Simone Kurial ’15 said she first heard about LaundryView “via an ecstatic Facebook message.” She was particularly impressed by the 3-D rendering – “I almost felt like I was in the room,” she said.
“This weekend, I have big plans for the laundry room,” Kurial said.

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One Comment

  1. you’d hope an article about a website would have a link to said website

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