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eSuds on Campus

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, September 5, 2002

eThe latest craze on campus... ..eSuds. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Sort of sounds like a hi-tech frat party. But eSuds is the name given by IBM and USA Technologies to a program that is wiring washers and dryers on college campuses to the Internet. IBM VP Dean Douglas...

"What it is allowing is for college students to be able to log onto a Web site and determine whether washing machines and dryers within a laundromat on campus are available. And if they're available they can go down there and use their university ID to charge their laundry and if the machine is not available they can use their cell phone to go into a Web site and take a look and see when the machines do come available. And when the laundry is done, the machine will page the student."

The idea is to save students time... and maybe, just maybe, keep them from bringing all of that dirty laundry home. And Douglas says from the laundromat's point of view... there are advantages to retro-fitting machines too...

"Washing machines, especially because they're available 24 hours a day tend to get broken into a lot. And they've got cash in there. By going cashless, it reduces that opportunity to have the machines broken into because there's nothing to break into."

The system has already undergone a successful trial at Boston College... ..and nine thousand washers and dryers are being wired this semester at schools in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.