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Offbeat: Clothes-Washing Status Sent To Cell Phones

Thanks to LaundryView technology being rolled out on college campuses, maybe at long last we can find out where all those socks go.
In the old days, you put your dirty clothes in a washer or dryer, then came back a while later to see if they were done. That uncertainty is becoming a thing of the past as a vendor announced Thursday that its coin-operated washer and dryers installed on college campuses are getting Internet connections.

Mac-Gray, which claims to be the biggest supplier of coin and card-operated laundry facilities on college campuses, said it has launched LaundryView, which enables users of its facilities to check on the status of their clothes via their cell phones, PDAs or Wi-Fi enabled laptops.

In a statement, the company said LaundryView "provides a way for college students to communicate with washers and dryers in campus laundry rooms."

Students set up their status reports on a specific Web page, including whether they want to be notified by e-mail or a text message. The system can report both the availability of washers and dryers and the status of each machine. In addition, the Web site shows a history of when the equipment is most used so students can avoid trying to wash their clothes at the same time as everybody else.

The system also will notify the company if there is a problem with a machine, Mac-Gray said in a statement.

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