TL;DR: Halcyon Wash, an application to make doing laundry even easier, has been launched on Android and iOS. You just need to tap once on the machine icon when you start your laundry cycle and another time when you end your laundry cycle to share its availability status with everyone.
What does it do?
It allows users to check and share on machine availabilities with others, receive push notifications on next available machines, and plan ahead of the week with a schedule of machine usage in the past week.
How can you help?
Most crucially, please remember to click on the corresponding machine icon in the app when you start/stop your wash/dryer cycle.In detail:What you will need to do is to download the application, and tap on the machine icon when you start/stop it so others know if there are available machines to use. You will also be asked to answer a YNC trivia question to verify you’re from YNC: (the RCA hotline is 93383440)
Why does a mobile application make sense?
Back in 2020, I worked on developing a hardware driven laundry status webpage. After about 2 semester of trials with the previous hardware solution, I slowly realized that it was not an easy implementation due to battery life (2-3 months), maintenance (battery-powered, corrosion and snapping of wires), future-adaptability issues (dependent on washer device model) and accuracy issues. Perhaps, some others in the community might continue to implement a hardware solution that makes sense, but probably not for me given my time in YNC. They can link their sensors up if they wish to in the future.
A mobile application, on the other hand, is lower in maintenance, more scalable, and most importantly, offer a customized user experience (which fb/telegram bots don’t offer) with features like push notifications. However, there might be some machine accuracy and privacy concerns.
I think the first problem of accuracy might be improved if enough users use it. For the second problem of privacy, I’ve also strove to minimise data collection so you don’t have to fill in personal details to use the application. It does use 3rd party packages like Google’s firebase to help with delivering push notifications, and maintaining a database. Some data it collects include: aggregated app interaction data, anonymous data about machine state, and an anonymised token so that the server can send push notifications to you.
I wanted it to be really simple, so it’s got no real login screen at the moment. It’s just a page with a trivia question that Halcyons would know. Thereafter, you have 3 pages to toggle between the different modes.
6 Feb (Sat night): asked my mom for advice if I should make an app
11 Feb (Thur Afternoon): Sent to App Store and Play Store for review
You may contact me at [email protected] for further clarification.