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Computerizing the Campus Laundry

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Computerizing the Campus Laundry


Computerizing the Campus Laundry

Computerizing the Campus Laundry

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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A system at the University of Kentucky schedules laundry use and lets students know — via e-mail or text message — when the wash is done. Junior Britney Hunt tells Scott Simon about the system.


Those boring hours of sitting in the laundry room and watching your clothes go round and round may be a thing of the past, at least for some fortunate college students. A system called laundry view will help them manage their time while it manages their laundry. We're joined now by Brittany Hunt, who's a junior at the University of Louisville in Kentucky.

Thank you so much for being with us.

Ms. BRITTANY HUNT (Student, University of Louisville): Thank you.

SIMON: Now you're in front of a computer screen right now, right?

Ms. HUNT: Yes, I am.

SIMON: So how does this system work?

Ms. HUNT: OK, well, right now I can click on the laundry room in my residence hall...

SIMON: Yeah.

Ms. HUNT: ...and it'll give a listing of all the washers and dryers, and it'll tell me exactly how long the washers have. Like, right now it says that washer one has 18 minutes to go, and it tells me that all the dryers are available. So that way I can know if I can go use them now or if I have to wait before I can go to the laundry room.

SIMON: If in theory you had laundry to do...

Ms. HUNT: Uh-huh.

SIMON: would know that you can continue to do your very important schoolwork for, like, the next 15 minutes and then take three minutes to bundle everything in your arms and run down there.

Ms. HUNT: Yeah, exactly.

SIMON: Now how do you know your laundry's done?

Ms. HUNT: It can notify you, like, you can set it so that it'll notify your computer or, like, send you an e-mail or something. Like, there's different ways that the system can notify you when your laundry's done.

SIMON: So if you're at your computer screen...

Ms. HUNT: Mm-hmm.

SIMON: ...writing something about the Chaldean Empire...

Ms. HUNT: Mm-hmm.

SIMON: can get an e-mail saying your shirts and socks are done.

Ms. HUNT: Exactly.

SIMON: Does it have other ways of communicating with you?

Ms. HUNT: Like, it can send a text message to your cell phone. And I'm pretty sure those are the only two ways that it gives alerts.

SIMON: How often do you do laundry?

Ms. HUNT: How often do I do laundry?

SIMON: Yeah. It's a personal question.

Ms. HUNT: It's not a personal question. I do laundry about every three or four weeks.

SIMON: (Laughs) Now do you just...

Ms. HUNT: I know, that's bad.

SIMON: No, no, no. Now do you just have a wardrobe that rivals Madonna, or are you just a little too busy to do your laundry?

Ms. HUNT: I'm a little bit of both, I think.

SIMON: Now may I ask when--next time you're going to do laundry? Are you scheduled?

Ms. HUNT: Really soon. Tomorrow.

SIMON: Really.

Ms. HUNT: Yes.

SIMON: Well, that'll be a big moment, won't it?

Ms. HUNT: It will.

SIMON: Well, Ms. Hunt, awfully nice talking to you.

Ms. HUNT: Thank you.

SIMON: And what can I say? May all of your whites be white and your brights be bright.

Ms. HUNT: Thank you.

SIMON: Brittany Hunt checks her laundry online at the University of Louisville in Kentucky.

(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified Woman: (Singing) Oh, Saturday night, hmm, everyone's having fun. I'm down at the laundromat, trying to get my washing done, like I've done before time and time again, watching the clothes go round. Another week sees its end...

Unidentified Group: (Singing) Watching the clothes go round. Watching the clothes go round. Watching the clothes go round. Watching the clothes go round.

SIMON: And it's 22 minutes before the hour.

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