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Laundry application added to IU Mobile

By Megan Jula

Briscoe and Third and Union Apartment residents need no longer wait for their whites and colors to finish washing.

The latest addition to the IU Mobile application titled ”Laundry Availability” allows students to track the cycle time and availability of washers and dryers at these locations.

David West, a residence assistant in Briscoe, heard about the application from University Information Technology Services.

“It would be cool to have just so you don’t have to walk to the laundry room,” West said.

He also believes it will help prevent people from throwing others’ laundry out of the machine when it’s finished.

“Our hope is that if everything goes OK this year, we will implement the app in other centers next summer,” said Ranji Abraham, director of Auxiliary Information Technology, the organization that created the laundry application.

AIT develops new technologies for departments across the Bloomington campus. The idea for the laundry app came from a consultation between Residential Programs and Services and graduate students at the Kelley School of Business a few years ago, Abraham explained.

“We took that request to try to develop an app to show students the status of machines,” he said.

The laundry application was released Sept. 28, but RPS did not announce the app to residents until Monday through their “In Touch” e-newsletter.

“We just put it out there, and there it was on the home screen for the Bloomington campus,” said Nate Johnson, manager for the Enterprise Services Presentation and Delivery team that created the IU Mobile application.

He estimated that IU Mobile, which includes information such as bus routes, dining schedules and sports updates,  has been downloaded to more than 50,000 iPhones.

The laundry app is just the latest addition to a growing list of resources.

“We add lots of features to IU Mobile all the time,” Johnson said.

Implementing the laundry application meant installing “laundry alert wiring” to the machines, allowing a transfer of information to the app. The information updates about every 20 seconds, Abraham said. AIT has had to collaborate with the third-party vender who runs the laundry machines.

Lexi Newton, a sophomore living in the Third and Union Apartments, tried using the application before doing her laundry but wasn’t impressed.

“The timing is not quite right,” she said. “Usually, I just set an alarm.”

Johnson said IU Mobile strives to fix this kind of issue, and he suggested students give feedback through the icon on the IU Mobile home page.

Both he and Abraham mentioned several in-progress additions to IU Mobile. Johnson suggested improving the bus route application to make it more user friendly. Abraham said AITS is working on a package-tracking application for next year.

“We always have lots of ideas,” he said. “It’s just a question of resources.”

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