Temple Times Online Edition
    OCTOBER 13, 2005
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Laundry goes high-tech with e-Suds

At 3:43 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5, half of the washing machines on the first floor of White Hall were in use. Over in 1300 Residence Hall, students must have been in class, because almost every machine in the building was free. In Johnson Hall, two-thirds were active.

A student with a pile of dirty clothes could check the availability of those washers and dryers in any number of ways; for instance, walking down the hall to the laundry room is a start. But, quite frankly, that behavior is so 1990s, anathema to our always-wired culture.

Rather, Temple’s residential students can now log on to e-Suds, a Web-based laundry monitoring system offered by University Housing and Computer Services through the housing portal, http://myhousing.temple.edu. Even better, they can arrange for instant notification by e-mail or text message when a machine opens up.

“Instead of lugging down their laundry, finding that all the washers and dryers are in use and then lugging their laundry back to their rooms, students are able to monitor units online to see what’s available,” said Jack Niven, director of University Housing.

“We also find that students will take another person’s laundry out and throw it aside or on the floor if they leave it sitting too long,” Niven added. “A monitoring service can prevent that from happening.”

Temple partnered with USA Technologies, a wireless, non-cash transaction firm, and Caldwell and Gregory, its laundry services vendor, to integrate e-Suds into 40 laundry rooms in seven campus residence halls this summer. It marks the single largest installation of the burgeoning e-Suds technology on a college campus yet.

- By Ted Boscia