Washing on the web

This sounds like a great April Fools day joke created by people making fun of SOAP: IBM and USA Technologies announced Friday that they will Web-enable 9,000 washing machines and dryers at U.S. colleges and universities. Called e-Suds, the systems will allow students to check for machine availability on a web site. They can pay by swiping an id or credit card or calling on a cell phone. Students can choose to have the machine add soap and fabric softener. When their wash is done, they can be notified by e-mail. Laundromat owners can also use the web interface to monitor machine status, check water temperature and fiters, and watch usage patterns. Cashless vending should also help reduce the $500 million annual losses attributed to vandalism.

A Reuters story about the machines says “A company that owns laundry machines in colleges in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky will install the machines during the autumn term.” I wonder if Asbury will be getting them.