The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow, with washing machines among those appliances that can be monitored or controlled by apps. Both residential and commercial washers now have varying connection abilities, from simple cycle monitoring to online payments. Apartment complexes that need new commercial washers have options like letting residents download an app that lets them pay for washes off credit cards without them actually having to use a card slot that could break. As with any IoT appliance, however, there are some issues to consider.
Could Be Great in Multi-Unit Residential Settings
First, allowing users to pay and monitor the washers via an app could be extremely convenient for both the residents and managers. Fewer people trying to use coin slots or card slots on the washers and dryers means less wear and tear, and the app offers more ways to pay (helpful if you've found yourself without the necessary quarters or laundry card balance when you're out of clean clothing). If the app allows them to monitor the cycles on the machines, then there's less of a chance that they'll forget about their laundry and leave it in the machines well past the time the washing or drying is done.
Make App Use Voluntary
If you do decide to get washers that have app options, you should make the apps optional and provide ways for people to pay and to report problems the old-fashioned way. Not everyone has smartphones, and of those who do, some may be resistant to downloading an app they feel is unnecessary. Requiring app use to pay for laundry, for example, can alienate some tenants who prefer to use cash (or a laundry card, if that's the system you've been using so far).
But How Much Extra Does It Cost?
App options typically have extra costs associated with them, such as for service subscriptions. If you've truly had issues in the past with people forgetting their laundry, the money you pay to add access to the app could be worth it because it would almost eliminate this problem. But if people in the building have been generally cooperative regarding laundry and haven't had issues using the current payment system, the money for the app could be senseless spending.
Apartment complex laundry rooms need commercial machines that can handle the volume of clothing that passes through each day. Options like apps to monitor cycles can be helpful in the right situations. Take stock of how your tenants treat the laundry room as you look for replacement machines.
For more information, reach out to a laundry distributor like CG West.