@Sigfox: The IoT Connected Laundry Room

Source: Sigfox USA

Sylvain Demortier, Northeast Sales Account Manager accepted our Q4 US team challenge to develop a Sigfox low power wide area (LPWA) connected IoT use case that would solve a challenge at home and is applicable to commercial use. Sylvain, a transplant from France by way of Hong Kong, enjoys rolling up his sleeves to solve problems using IoT. He once connected a basketball hoop to play with Sigfox USA offices in Dallas and San Francisco. Let’s find out what he connected this time.  

Recently a Bostonian, I’ve always been attracted to new cultures. In the past few years I’ve been filling this curiosity by numerous travel all around the world; starting in Hong Kong, a hyper-dynamic city where technology and finance are mixed with the ancestral Chinese culture. Along the way, I made a stopover in Shanghai before finally landing here in the U.S.A. Everywhere I drop my suitcase I try to surround myself with the local culture, and one of the ways I do this is shared housing, sort of like “The Spanish Apartment” by Cédric Klapisch.

The Dirty Laundry

Every shared house I’ve lived in the one major pain point is laundry day. It seems everyone waits until the weekend and at the same time (Sunday, 3 pm to be exact) to get it done. This creates a bottleneck, tension, and piles of clothes in various stages of the laundry process scattered about the room. I started to wonder if an IoT connected solution on Sigfox low power wide area network(LPWAN) could help avoid the “pile” up and rising temperatures of frustration that was inevitably going to happen weekend-over-weekend.

Sens’it; The Ginsu Knife of IoT

For this use case, I decided to use the Sens’it device and its platform, sensit.io.  The Sens’it is a multi-sensor device developed by Sigfox to accelerate IoT. We use it at Sigfox mainly to demonstrate Sigfox LPWAN communication capabilities as well as to prove the value of a specific use case. A versatile compact little handheld lightweight unassuming device, Sens’it houses a light sensor, accelerometer, magnet sensor, temperature and humidity sensor, as well as a simple on-demand button. Much like a Ginsu knife, Sens’it has more to offer, as it also comes with its platform, sensit.io, which allows you to view the data on a simple user-friendly dashboard.

To solve our laundry room dilemma, I used Sens’it as an on-demand push button to trigger an SMS alert to the member of the house that needed to tend to their laundry. Configuring the notification alert was simply achieved through the platform with a few clicks, selecting the media that would receive the message – email, SMS, or web link. As for the device installation, that was easy too, as the device was attached directly on the face of the washing machine – a perfect fit next on the control panel. Every time the machine was left full, a simple press of the button sent a text message to the housemates to take action … or else 🙂

Bringing IoT to Commercial Laundry

This simple-to-install solution to a known weekly issue made Sunday laundry less of a chore and brought a little peace to the household. Looking beyond the home laundry room, this application can be used in commercial laundromats, coin laundromats, linen services, laundry facilities within hotels, hospitals, assisted living, even college dorms alerting users and staffs when it’s time to tend to the laundry. In fact, Xeros, whose aim is to create sustainable laundry systems for commercial laundries, hotels and spas, has cited IoT as a solution to simplifying the laundry process. Bringing technology to the laundry experience and enabling efficiencies is just the type of use case Sigfox connectivity was built for. Connecting all the other things, even laundry.