Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Laundry Pager

Device to alert Apartment Dweller that Laundry is Done
  (+38, -1)(+38, -1)(+38, -1)
(+38, -1)
  [vote for,

aaaaaaaaah - Apartment Life. Someone invariably goes to laundry room, cranks up washing machines and leaves - apparently forgetting about the laundry. The next individual in need of Fresh Laundry politely waits, then gives up and puts aforementioned laundry in dryer for fellow Apartment Building Dweller. By the time the 'next individual' comes down to put freshly washed laundry in dryer, the previous individuals laundry remains damp in the dryer. So the 'next individual' neatly arranges wet laundry on table and dries his/her own laundry. Later, when the 'next individual' goes to retrieve his/her laundry from dryer, he/she finds that his/her laundry is still somewhat damp and is now in a wrinkled ball and the previous individuals laundry is now gone. Back into the dryer goes the 'next individuals' laundry. This mental picture /scenario / reality could be altogether avoided by means of a pager device indicating laundry is done by current occupant of washer and/or dryer.
thumbwax, Aug 23 2001

Washer/Dryer Combo http://www.pacmedha...om/daily/washer.htm
"The Equator Clothes-Processor is a combination washer-dryer..." Clothes processor? [phoenix, Aug 23 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Washer/Dryer Combo #2 http://www.splendide.com/
It's a "Laundry Center" [phoenix, Aug 23 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Laundry Spy http://www.laundryspy.com/
Okay, so it's not a remote laundry pager but a surveillance system tailored for laundromats. You could put one of these in and watch your clothes spin from the comfort of your living/TV room. [bristolz, Feb 14 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Laundry Notification http://www.halfbake.../Laundry_20Notifier
A very similar idea posted here, lo, 2 years ago. Not a pager, mind you, rather more of a local Web service that lets you know when your clothes are done. An appealing notion, really. [bristolz, Mar 05 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Net-enabled laundry http://www.wired.co...,1383,54856,00.html
IBM hopes a new system of smart, wired washers and dryers will instill a little efficiency in the college dormitory laundry room... [tharsaile, Aug 31 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Uses a phone dialer to call you. http://www.rose-hul...cesymposium2003.htm
Only 7 digits though? [RayfordSteele, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       Or asking the apartment owner to install more washing machines and dryers.   

       Or have the machine hold on to the contents for 15 minutes after completion then dump the contents onto the floor/incinerator chute/dumpster.
phoenix, Aug 23 2001

       Three cheers and a croissant for [thumbwax] because this idea really would help. I like the idea so much I'll even sponsor the first 50 pagers in my apartment complex. Now the problem is to keep forgetful people from losing their pagers...   

       Alternate idea: Every apartment dweller has a plastic card with a magnetic stripe on it. In addition to paying for machine usage with this card (an idea well baked everywhere *except* my apartment complex) the card would encode the phone number of the user's apartment. When the machine finishes its cycle, the phone rings and a recorded voice notifies the user that the machine has stopped.
BigBrother, Aug 23 2001

       This is a great idea.   

       [My "Yes!Yes!Yes! Vote" has now been changed to something more practical.]
iuvare, Aug 23 2001

       I think BigBrother's idea would work pretty well, but remove the notification. I have heard of magstripe locks that will use any card with a stripe as the lock, just as a unique identifier.   

       Possibly, have the machines require a deposit to release the pager, and require the return of the pager to unlock them. This would let one know when the clothes were done, AND protect them from being stolen. <I know several people who've had stuff stolen.>   

       Flaky breadlike products for you...
StarChaser, Aug 23 2001

       I like the idea of the clothes being automatically transferred from the washer to the dryer. Any ideas on how to then automate the dreaded clothes folding process?
snarfyguy, Aug 23 2001

       No need to transfer the laundry from the washer to the dryer. Make the washer be the dryer too. (I'll leave it up to you as to whether it's conventional hot air or microwave)
phoenix, Aug 24 2001

       Apartment life, how well we remember. Please TardisEx one working sample to me in 1983.
The Military, Aug 24 2001

       (obligatory [PeterSealy]-use-the-local-Chinese-laundry post)
angel, Aug 24 2001

       UnaBubba - No lots of us don't own washers and dryers. Apartment dwellers, students, etc., lots of folks use laundromats (public or private ones).   

       I have to admit that I have occasionally been the one to neglect my laundry. I live iin a small town, and we have one laundromat. Once, I left my clothes in a dryer there, went to the bar, got drunk, went home. Next morning, when I got to the laundromat, I found that someone had neatly folded and stacked all of my laundry, even putting it in my baskets that I had left there.   

       There have been several times when I have driven to the laundromat in the morning, wearing my pajamas, to retrieve clothes left in the dryer the night before. Then I change clothes at the laundromat, and go to work.   

       If it were available here, I would love to use a laundry service. That would be the best answer.
quarterbaker, Aug 24 2001

       UnaBubba - what's scary?
quarterbaker, Aug 24 2001

       Methinks - changing clothes at the laundromat as a matter of habit. How small a town is it you speak of though?
thumbwax, Aug 24 2001

       Well, its not really a _habit_ per se, just something that happens once in a while when I forget that ALL of my clothes are at the laundromat and don't notice until I get out of the shower. I'm not an exhibitionist.   

       Usually, at 7 a.m. there's nobody else there. The place is unlocked all night long, but there's usually no activity after midnight.   

       Town population of roughly 1500 or so. Here, most people don't lock their houses, and I'm probably the only one who locks the car.
quarterbaker, Aug 24 2001

       UnaBubba: I took my last apartment specifically because it had a washer and dryer, and the house I live in now has one. I only used a laundromat once, and because I'm such a trusting soul </sarcasm> I sat there the whole time and watched it, chasing off one person who wandered up and tried to open my running dryer. After that, I drove to my father's place to do my laundry. Took less time and was less expensive to drive 30 miles each way.   

       Doesn't mean I can't comment on an improvement that I would have liked to see at the time.
StarChaser, Aug 25 2001

       Plenty of people in the US don't have w/d in their living spaces... I live in an apartment with a laundry room downstairs, and thumbwax's device would be really handy. I can never remember how long each machine takes or what time I put my clothes in. I have actually tried to think of ways to bake this idea myself a few times.   

       (I'm more interested in the 'pager' part than the 'lock' part. I don't think I've ever had laundry stolen. Unless someone is stealing individual socks? Once when I forgot to go collect my laundry, the next user not only took the laundry out and put it on the top of the (front-loading) dryer, they neatly folded it... Sheesh.)
wiml, Aug 26 2001

       RonHamel: What size are you? Also - My laundromat offers wash & fold service, but I seem, over the years, to be missing a lot of clothes...
snarfyguy, Aug 26 2001

       Wiml: One friend had everything taken, and since she was doing a load of most of her laundry, it left her with a few outfits. Another girl at work had all her underwear stolen.   

       UnaBubba: Like wiml says, a lot of apartments don't have washers or dryers <probably for cost reasons when constructing the buildings: having to run hot and cold water and drains, and to avoid damage from overflows or leaks>. I mentioned my apartment I'd taken because of the appliances: they were the only ones that came with it out of 20 or so I looked at, with the help of a professional apartment locating company. Three of the others had hookups but you had to supply your own machines, the rest had 'laundromats on premises'.   

       I'm not offended, misunderstandings don't bother me. The US itself may be affluent, but a huge number of the inhabitants are not.
StarChaser, Aug 26 2001

       I had nothing whatsoever to do with it being published.


       From the Earthlink Bulletin Board Manager: Earthlink Weekly Email Newsletter:

...8. Weird Web: Halfbakery...

* Halfbakery
Humanity may never produce some of the inventions dreamed up at this site (in some cases, that's a good thing). Still, we can only hope that products like the "Parking Meter that Gives Change" and the "Laundry Pager" become realities someday. A word of caution: Some content is for mature readers.

Looks like we may have a bunch of newbies, as this Newsletter reachers about a Gazillion +/- 5% readers.

What do they mean by "mature?"
thumbwax, Oct 30 2001

       I may not have this problem of washing and drying clothes atm, living as I do at home. But I'm sure I will soonish, and I think that this is a wonderful idea. Would you like a 'pain o chocolat', or just a plain old crossaint?
roisin, Oct 30 2001

       From dictionary.com:   

5. Having reached the limit of its time; due.

       Weird Web seems to think we're not much longer for this world.
CoolerKing, Oct 30 2001

       spring fresh pastry for you, tw. If they can do stupid pagers in burger joints to let you know when your meal is done, surely it would be at least as efficiently implemented as you suggest.
absterge, Oct 31 2001

       Excellent idea, I like the locking part. When I was on the road tree planting, I became very well aquainted with laundromat (and truck stop) culture - a great place to meet dames, BTW - laundromats, not truckstops.   

       Anyway, there's a distinct theft problem, depending on where you are, Levi's are particularly appealing to certain parties, and I learned to watch my stuff like a hawk - at $30 a pop, one can easily lose a c-note in very short order.   

       The pager idea is good, an internet connection is also a distinct possibility, paging you via your PDA - as if anybody has internet ready PDA's.   

       Been reading about DoCoMo wireless in Japan (Wired, Sep. 2001), where i-mode has kicked WAP's ass in a big way, though this probobly has much to do with DoCoMo's unique business model - it seems they simply thought about what customers might want, and gave it to them, rather than spending all their investment capital lobbying the government to legalize invasion of privacy, and running through the rest in promotional givaways trying in vain to lure people to their marginal sites to fill out questionares.   

       Can't everybody make a living selling e-mailing lists, after all.
whatzabuzz, Oct 31 2001

       I gave this one a minus. Why? Because of the financial reasons. If you are living in an apartment and can't afford a washer and dryer than you could probably not afford the pager and the service fees that would have to come with it. Also to incorporate this device into a machine would be too costly.
pogoman59, Feb 13 2002

       Those seem like weak reasons to me, pogoman59. The COG for getting a dialer chip into a washing machine is probably on the order of a couple of dollars.  Especially for laundry rooms in apartment complexes.  Seems like an enterprising landlord would want to invest in machines that would attract the residents to use them, rather than an outside laundromat.   

       I give it a plus . . . .
bristolz, Feb 13 2002

       bri.. that's short for 'brilliant' isn't it?
thumbwax, Feb 13 2002

       I would have LOVED one of these years ago when I had to lug laundry up and down 3 or 4 flights of stairs. But now I have my own facilities in the basement, and I use...a $5 kitchen timer to let me know when a load is done.
threeoutside, Feb 14 2002

       quarterbaker, please come and collect your washing I have had it ready a month now.
po, Feb 14 2002

       I was wondering where it was! These pajamas are getting kind of rank.
quarterbaker, Feb 14 2002

       phew, you are right, service wash coming up! conditioner?
po, Feb 14 2002

       What about the old network-connected Coke machine as a paradigm here -- a network connected washer/driver sends email to your PC (or pager) when nearly done?
billblue, Mar 07 2002

       I do like this idea, but another, more low-tech solution that I saw in college was simply to write the time for a cycle next to the machine itself.   

       (I suspect the real problem is lazy or busy people, not forgetful ones. I'm not sure a pager would help them; they get around to picking up their clothes when they're good and ready.)
bookworm, Mar 07 2002

       i don't live in an apartment, but this is an outstanding idea. i know that i often put in a load of laundry and go on with life, only remembering the next day that i really, really need some clean socks, and i completely understand how if i were living in an apartment i'd be unwittingly be making the lives of others miserable. don't hate me because i'm a ditz. just page me.
efarns, Mar 07 2002

       I can proudly say that students from my college have now baked something like this. See link.
RayfordSteele, May 18 2003

       Also a great idea for home use!
bspollard, Oct 05 2004


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